The French impressionist painter, Claude Monet, is well-known for his delicate painting Footbridge over Water Lilies.” What is less known is that the artist painted over 250 versions of this scene in his idyllic garden at Giverny.  He painted the patterns of the changing light on the water at every time of day, from early dawn to noon to late evening.  The effect of changing light dancing on the waters intrigued and challenged Monet.

Once, a well-meaning but unknowing visitor said to Monet: : “You really ought to change the scene you are painting.  It seems you are making no progress.”  The visitor’s untrained eye missed the beauty of the similar yet vastly different canvases.

Monet took no offence at the comment, but kindly replied: “Ah, progress. You are right, my hours on end in the hot sun do not move me to progress.  But what a progression, minute by minute, the dazzling light makes upon the waters, calling forth from them new beauties at every shimmer and sparkle.”

Source | Dennis Clark, Sunday Morning (1996)


  • Life is about progressing steadily, that is, slowly, a tiny step at a time – no huge leaps. This is not always an exciting process to watch! Sometimes it may even taste like boredom. Often it is invisible!
  • One thing to remember and to opt for daily,  is to go through life with a “learner’s permit”, learning by doing, by trial and error.

Author: philipchircop

I'm a Jesuit from Malta, an artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful: music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more. I believe that beauty is a wonderful entry into the mystery of the God “whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God can be sensed in all things if and when we engage in a long, loving look at the real that surrounds us. I consider myself a seeker with bottomless curiosity, an eternal student of life, exploring fresh and creative ways to proclaim the Good News in the hope of helping fellow pilgrims and seekers to embrace real and radical changes that will lead to conversion and transformation.

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