Matisse’s The Dance is one of my favourite paintings, and is one that has been on my mind lately. I put it on my computer desktop.
I was introduced to this painting as an image of God. I love the idea of God as a wonderful dance that goes around and around with carefree abandon. It is a beautifully inclusive vision as well: it says to me, “Come and join the dance!” There’s room to slot in and whiz around with all the other dancers. There’s an invitation to be part of the dance of God.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on this painting in the light of my community organising practice. I’ve met activists, academics, campaigners and housing workers who for years have been working hard for more and better housing for our community. People before them were doing the same thing. The dance has been going for a long time, and as I join in, it is both humbling and liberating to remember this. I will join hands, make some moves, and eventually I will leave. The dance will go on!