“Noli Me Tangere”: The backstory

[“Noli Me Tangere” by Patricia Miranda, 2005]

It was years ago, in the midst of the random opulence and higgledy-piggledy of Boston’s Gardner Museum, that I fell in love with Mary Magdalen. This one. “I may not yet know how to love Jesus,*” I thought, instantly attracted to Raphael’s redhead. “But, ohmygoodness, will you look at her! Such love!”  For what I somehow understood—oh sweet mystery!—was how Mary Magdalen’s tenderness, her love, her oil-painted kiss embodied agape: transcendent, universal, non-sexual love. A love so powerful it transcended my feminist queasiness to see a woman, any woman, on her knees kissing a man’s foot. Oh, my!

So, back in the earliest, stumbling-around days as I explored how I might share my novel, Welling Up, online, I examined Jesus and Mary Magdalen paintings—both to discover what various artists’ work might teach me and, of course, because, a website needs art!  I looked at lots and lots of paintings. Like this one.

Maybe, if I hadn’t already viewed Fra Angelico’s “Noli Me Tangere,” Patricia Miranda’s painting would not have caught me eye. Maybe. But I think Miranda’s stripped-down to-its essentials version of this biblical, “Touch me not,” moment would have intrigued me no matter what. Yes, knowing its backstory enlarges my appreciation of her work—but will you look at what she’s done?! Those ardent yet non-touching hands stretched towards each other, hands that speak of that same transcendent love I’d been moved by at the Gardner? Those somber, funeral colors coexisting with three robust, verdant trees and Latin written with luminous, gold leaf? That mysterious, white trapezoid off-center yet somehow dominate?

So you can imagine how excited I am that the very first thing you will see when you open up WellingUp.net—to be up and running in a couple of months if all goes well—is this painting. Which I have permission to use. (And, perhaps, you’ll also understand why I’ll need at least one more post to say all I want to say about it!)

Thank you, Patricia Miranda.

* “The post-Easter Jesus” I now know to label.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always dearly special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much! Wow, Patricia, wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! It is such a great answer to my daily and frequent prayers and thoughts also sending to you, Patricia, your agent, and publisher very positive energy about your very astounding new book entitled, Welling Up. Wow, sisterfriend, I’m just so, so very thrilled, overjoyed, and happy that in a couple of months you will share your awesome new book online at a great website! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for your riveting, Welling up, Patricia!!!! Yay!!!!! Wow, I’m so, so very excited about this and this is something absolutely fantastic to look forward to, my so, so very dear friend!!!!! Wow!!!! Yay!!!! I just can’t wait and am bursting with such very delightful and eager anticipation, my friend Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!! Sister, you’re going to have such beautiful, lovely, and and such a joy to behold artwork on your very powerful Welling Up website, Patricia!!!! Wow!!!! Yay!!!!

    Sister, the title of your very stupendous blog post article here is just perfect, absolutely perfect, and adds to and complements your very fine and excellent blog post article, Patricia. The picture which you have very graciously and generously featured and included with this very interesting and fascinating blog post article adds to, complements, and creates greater depth and clarity to your very engaging writing here. I thank-YOU, sister, for how you have as usual as always featured and included these very informative, interesting, and fascinating links with your very empowering with such acute and astute sagacity and full of such vivid descriptive clarity blog post article here. Wow, I so enjoyed the links with the beautiful pictures and paintings. I even signed up to follow Patricia Miranda on Twitter and all of her related sites on Twitter. Wow, I thank-YOU so, so very much for very graciously and generously providing this great info about the creative genius, Patricia Miranda, for all of us and putting her on our radar because I’d not heard of her before, sister. The beautiful and lovely pictures, paintings, and photographs, and all of the artwork just bring back very many memories for me, sisterfriend. The paintings and pictures remind me of the beautiful Christian paintings and picture books I’d go on for hours at a time looking at as a little girl, young girl, and a teenage girl. This gave me such comfort and spiritual uplift, and helped me to feel Spirit’s presence with me and that I was never alone even with the very unhappy family situation I faced, endured, and experienced growing up being severely abused in every way by my parents, two older brothers, and other relatives. Sister, I was raised as a Catholic but I’m no longer Catholic. I left the Catholic Church shortly after my twentieth birthday in March 1982 because a lot of the Catholic teachings just didn’t ring true for me anymore and conflicted with my feminism and with me trying to face myself as a lesbian. Sister, I remember when I was a little girl at about eight-years-old I would pretend to be a priest celebrating Mass. I was so, so very sad that women were not allowed to be priests and that girls were not allowed to be altar boys because I wanted to be a priest and an altar girl. Often I would think that I’d want to be a nun. In high school I’d say I wanted to be a nun to family and the other kids at school to cover up for me being a lesbian(I went in and out of denial about being a lesbian back then) and to explain away why I wasn’t dating boys. When I was a lot younger I’d go in and out of denial about being a lesbian. I remember in seventh grade that I was ridiculed for saying women should be allowed to be priests, and when I said also at that time that I thought the Pope wasn’t infallible my teacher severely scolded me. I so, so very much long for and yearning to be an ordained minister with all of my very, very heart, and my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit if only my physical disabilities weren’t so bad. I’d like to be a Protestant minister but not a minister of a church but a minister in the very general sense, Patricia.

    Sister, I so, so very much love, enjoy, and appreciate the very brilliantly informative article by Roman Krznaric regarding the six words for love. Patricia, I want all six of these very profound kinds of love. I just so love agape love with me loving and cherishing YOU, Patricia, and all of m other sisters and brothers as our Sweet Spirit’s children. Wow, this is such a great article and what a joy to read with such reading pleasure here, my so, so very dearest and darling friend!

    Sister, your very descriptive with such grace and beauty words about Patricia Miranda’s painting are very right on and on point here, my friend! Patricia, how beautifully profound and spiritual her painting is like the lovely and dainty hands are reaching out to each other grasping for love, for connection, and calling to one another. The hands can be like footprints as hands setting a guided path for people to follow. Sisterfriend, I am having such greatly immense and blessed joy going through all of the vast wealth of information which you have very graciously and generously provided for all of us as usual as always with your marvelous links! I thank-YOU so, so very much, so, so very profusely, kindly, dearly, and deeply for all of this as such a very cool in spirit blessing, Patricia! The spectacular info on the pre-Easter and the post-Easter Jesus is just awe-inspiring here, my friend! What great, interesting, informative, and fascinating reading here, sisterfriend. Patricia, I, too, along with you thank our astounding Patricia Miranda. I thank-YOU, sister, as well for blessing and gracing each and every one of us with the blessing and gift of YOU, and all you do so, so very well in such a very fine and excellent manner. I thank-YOU for this super blessing and gift of this insightful blog post article here as I very joyfully read this very in-depth article and very joyously responded with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments. I feel even better and brighter with even more cheer after reading this uplifting blog post article and responding with such great fun and pleasure. Sister, I thank God continually for your presence in my life!!!! You help me so with my very walk with Jesus!!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for our friendship and sisterhood, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!! By the time you read this it will be Thursday so please have such a totally terrific and very thrilling Thursday, a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend ahead, and may all of your days be so, so very blessed, Patricia!!!!! My friend, Spirit loves and cherishes you a whole bunch and so do I!!!!!! Yay!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always awesomely special and precious soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always, Patricia, with Such My and Spirit’s Peace and Love For You For Always, sister of mine, and with Such Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings For You For Always, friend of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend Christian black woman and For Always in the very great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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