Some thoughts on the painting Tobias and the Angel (circa 1470-80) by the Workshop of Verrocchio. Egg tempera on poplar. National Gallery, London.
Trust me, if you will. I am loving, I am infinite, I am immortal. I do not judge. I am beyond all fears. I will guide you if you ask me. The decision is yours. I ask nothing of you.
The Archangel Raphael’s sandaled feet tread lightly on the rocky soil. He does not need the reassurance of solid ground beneath him. He carries certainty in his tall frame, full of androgynous grace. He turns to look down at the boy. His face is weary from the centuries of doubt leading up to this attainment of wisdom through knowledge, but he can now draw strength from certainty.
I do not ask blind faith of you, he seems to tell the boy. You will learn, and only then will you know and be certain. In the meantime, trust me, if you will. The choice is yours.
Raphael’s wings are scarlet and black. They were built on the embers of passion and fear. It cannot have been otherwise.
I do not want white wings. I want to remember my past. I was like you, once. I want to remember the ashes I rose from.
At Raphael’s feet, trots the translucent figure of a small dog. To warn of approaching demons. He turns back to check that the boy is following.
Trust this stranger, boy. Trust your heart. Trust.
Tobias’s boots are firm on the ground. He needs to feel rooted while his cloak billows in the winds of uncertainty. He has slid a tentative hand onto the stranger’s arm.
Let me hold onto you. I cannot take this journey alone. Not yet.
The boy stares up at the archangel, mesmerised by the stranger’s secret knowledge. His young body is unsteady, but the faith in his eyes is unwavering.
I want to trust.
His mind cannot comprehend but his heart knows that he is safe with the stranger. He does not know, yet. And yet he knows.
Guide me to this faraway land. I want to learn.
I want to trust. I choose to trust.
© Scribe Doll