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 Libyan Desert.

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 by 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 fellow human beings? I am not religious, so the argument is moot, but in my mind I sometimes assign a few days of purgatory to people who behave anti-socially:

  • Four days of purgatory for people that hit a neighboring parked car with their car door.
  • One day of purgatory for the couple that pushed past 25 fellow passengers in an attempt to get out of the plane first.
  • One day for each person that borrowed but didn’t return a smart phone cable
  • One day in a cauldron with melted led for all drivers that blocked our driveway with their parked car, being too lazy to walk a few extra  meters.
  • One day of purgatory for all hotel guests that have loud conversations in the hotel floor between 11 pm and 7 am.
  • 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.

Suggestions for appropriate punishment welcome.

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