graceful surrender

“Girl in Yellow Dress” by Amedeo Modigliani
“Girl in Yellow Dress” by Amedeo Modigliani

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
~ Max Ehrmann
(Desiderata)

24 thoughts on “graceful surrender”

    1. It is so true, isn’t it, Mags. We need to be gentle with ourselves and our families and friends and take good care of each other…

  1. The first word that popped into my head when I saw the face of the girl in the yellow dress is “wistful.” As I scroll back up to look at it again, “wistful” seems to be supported by her body language as well.

    1. Yes, she does look wistful to me as well. When I first saw the painting I thought she was an older, perhaps middle-aged, woman. I imagine many of us feel wistful at times when we are trying to gracefully surrender some of the things of our youths…

  2. I’ve always loved Modigliani’s work. I wonder whether it’s because his faces are long and thin like mine?

    I’m with Mags on this one. I love the line:
    ” Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.”

    1. Do you have any of Modigliani’s paintings at your museum, Rosie? I’m imagining what the painting would look like if he had had the chance to paint you… Did you see any of his paintings while you were in Italy? There’s something about them that draws me in – perhaps a feeling of yearning or reflectiveness.

  3. The look on the face of the Girl in the Yellow Dress really does suggest that she has just read Desiderata in its entirety and had been transformed by the words. The words and painting are so beautifully matched Barbara. Just lovely. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Joanne! A woman from the Dominican Republic was visiting us once when I had a *Desiderata* poster on my wall. She got all excited when she saw it and told me that in her country they read a Spanish language version of it at the beginning of each broadcast day on the national radio. It’s wonderful knowing some of the most inspiring words do travel around the world!

    1. Being gentle with ourselves is great advice since so many of us are our own worst taskmasters! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Sheryl!

  4. Humanity has such a diabolical talent for making itself miserable.

    I’m not a Modigliani fan, but this lady is so serene, in her sepia dress and lace collar – hands folded and content.

    1. She does seem serene, gracefully surrendered, transformed and content. If we have to surrender some of the things of youth, we also gain something, finding a way to be happier and giving up the endless drama that is part of so many young lives.

  5. I want to gracefully surrender. Sometimes it seems to happen–other times not as much. I think eventually we will all surrender deeply. It’s a matter of when.

    1. Me, too, Kathy. Some of the things of youth were so easy to surrender, others are still giving difficulty. The process is uneven, at best. So true, as you say, it’s not a matter of if, but when.

  6. Ah, dear Max with his Desiderata. Wonderful. Always worth our time. And Modigliani as well.

    Opening your blog is like opening a box of fine chocolates. Beautifully done. Blog on …

    1. Thank you, Jamie! It’s nice to know that you appreciate my quote/painting combos because I just can’t seem to stop pairing them and presenting them! 🙂

  7. Oh, Modigliani, what a distinctively primative and moody style. One can hear those words being said to his model here: ‘…do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.’

    And yet those light green eyes look calm enough to me…maybe even a little bored…

    1. Sometimes I find it difficult to “read” people’s facial expressions. I can see calmness and boredom there, too. Sometimes she even looks resigned to me, as if she surrendered reluctantly…

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