I was never a fan of George W. Bush, seeing him as a smirking frat boy who created disastrous consequences for our country with his foray into Iraq. But as I’m much immersed in Flannery O’Connor in preparation for my trip, I’m also much drawn to the concept of redemption — a central theme in her work.
For George W., redemption has apparently come in the form of art. He’s a painter, and not just a dabbler. According to an article by Mimi Swartz, who quotes respected art critics, Bush has become good. His portraits of world leaders show depth, emotion, subtlety, all things that seemed lacking in Bush the President.
I’m not going to buy the book in which his paintings are presented, even though the proceeds are going to a non-profit organization that benefits veterans and their families who served in post 9/11 wars. But I will buy into the concept that redemption is available to all of us, in one form or another and in the fullness of time. It’s a rather hopeful thought.