4 THE CHILD, THE MOTHER
This is the first station in which Jesus does what the word 'station' implies: he stands. He has stopped to meet someone. None of the gospels mentions this short interval. Apparently however, people cannot imagine that the mother would be absent in these crucial moments. Traditionally the subject of this station has been the meeting between the mother and the child. Looking at this meeting between two people from the outside, one cannot but have one's eye movements begin with either of the two. In this case various details in the painting direct my eye movements first to Jesus. And then first to his eyes and next to his hands. Only now do I see that the child takes his mother's hands, not the other way round. How softly, how tenderly his large soft hands seem to do so. The same applies to the eyes. It is his eyes that comfort the mother's eyes, not the other way round. What would have been obvious from the gospel stories is underlined here once again. The time of mothering has long since passed . Here it is the child who uses hands and eyes to attempt to encourage the mother who is worried and frightened. The tension between the two pairs of eyes and the tender release of the two pairs of hands is sufficient for me. I do not feel tempted to have my eyes follow the look in the mother's eyes. Compared to the previous and to the next station the colour here is subdued and quiet, but certainly not sombre. Comfort does bring light and illumination even if the light does not have the exuberance that goes with life.