Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Fantasy of Heat, 1952-58; watercolor on paper, 40 x 30 inches; Private Collection, Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, June 10, 1936
Monday, June 10, 2019
The season reading & speculation on the divinity of Christ full of agony and exasperation, alternating exaltation and despair as it was, culminated in a trip to Rev Neeb’s home in E. Aurora, where I told him as well as I could of my whole experience in the matter. Often, he had explained to my satisfaction some ideas on various details, I expressed a willingness to do whatever was necessary to become a member of the church.
Later, at night in bed, I writhed in agony over what I felt was a premature decision; I looked out at the soft gray violet night sky with its heat-hazed stars and felt a veil had come in between it and me, and I neglected my revealing to another my innermost thoughts about God.
Next morning (yesterday) a long talk with Bertha about the matter. Her sympathy & good sense were like a balance to me. One thing that this whole struggle has done if nothing else, is to find her in a newer deeper sense.
To Buffalo on various errands and somehow or other during the course of the morning I found a solution to my difficulties and therefore peace of mind. Which was: the realization that I have been working too hard on the matter that to go further now, would destroy what I had gained, and what I needed most was to turn aside, and lose myself again in my work, my true solace. I have attained to a sort of intellectual acceptance the divine character of Christ, and there for the present, the matter must rest. A wonderful sense of freedom & peace came from this.
A dead, hot day, no freshness of June. There was something grand and invigorating in the down-pouring of the sun’s heat. The fragile character of the pale hot blue of flax flowers- or the lavender of iris dancing in the heat waves.
A.M. Take B to Hanson’s for treatment.
Charles E. Burchfield, June 10, 1936