A painting of a Camel (oil, sand on canvas, 30 x 40 cm). And thoughts about Purgatory.

Before turning to PURGATORY, below a painting of a camel, created in the nineties. The background is acrylic paint, enriched with natural pigments and desert sand, the camel itself is in oil. The motive suggest heat, and a pyramid is visible in the hump. I painted this shortly after our trip through the Lybian Desert.

Camel. Oil, acryl, sand, pigments on canvas

Camel. Oil, acryl, sand, pigments on canvas

Talking about heat: lately I have been thinking about the principal of purgatory. Although this concept has come out of fashion in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, it is high on my radar. Purgatory: I remember books from my youth in which, in graphic detail, naked sinners sat in metal cauldrons, faces distorted with pain. No wonder: flames flickered around their bodies, and a red devil (carrying a three-pronged spear, see my novel Celeterra) tested their flesh.

Wouldn’t purgatory be a suitable, after-death punishment for some unsocial human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but sometimes I do assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:

  • Four days of purgatory for the unknown person that hit my brand new car with their car door, leaving a 15mm scratch, that I now have to repair.
  • One day of purgatory (each) for the Chinese couple that pushed past 25 passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
  • One day for each person that took and didn’t return a smart phone cable (‘took and didn’t return’ – the proper word is probably ‘steal’).
  • One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk 100 meters, but expecting others to do so.
  • One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have extended conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am. An additional three days of flickering flames for the timeframe 1 am to 6 am, or a conversation that exceeds fifteen minutes.
  • Half a day of purgatory for restaurant guests that have a dispute with the waiter, and try to pull other guests (me) into the argument. I don’t care about your problems, live with it. One day of hot cauldron, if this happens in a train or plane.
  • Two days for expressing an opinion about blogposts, without having read the entire text.

Bookmark this reference page, I will add more days of purgatory for other misdemeanors. Suggestions for punishable offenses welcome.

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