How I love this... The canon-breaking John the Baptist... Look how androgynous! How glad he is. How gay! How everything opposite of how we picture St. John (gaunt, starved, raggedy). I'm enthralled by this image. It may be my favorite work of art. Why is he so happy?! What makes this creature so complete? Perfectly male and female, perfectly in the present and in all time, perfectly childlike and somehow wiseman-mysterious. All opposites marry in him. And the sign... The sign! This moved me to tears in Paris... I was doing the requisite walk-about-the-Louvre. And this stopped me and and sucked me in. I didn't just think, "how pretty / how strange / how ambiguous." That lasted a moment. But then I thought, this is exactly what it's like. Somebody in the 16th century painted exactly what loving Christ feels like. It's that reckless. And that horribly individual, and personal, and intimate. Christ / God / the Tao / the divine is in all, even in the most fleshily despicable. Look what a horrid John the Baptist. Really. Look how unsaintly. From a religious point of view. But look how FULL of divine love and light. How perversely full of divine love. I'm drunk with this image.