You must have worked out by now that at times monastic life here in the eleventh-century gets just a little too regular for me. I need diversion. I need a gamen, as we say in Anglo-Saxon England.
So let us do something a little frivolous yet at the same time edifying and spiritually uplifting. Do not smirk!
Below you will find five images from the marvellous Old English Illustrated Hexateuch, which was produced in Canterbury around the second quarter of the eleventh century.
Each of them shows an emotion or a mood. You, blessed readers, have to work out which emotion or mood is represented.
The key lies in the gestures each character is deploying. The gestures are drawn from the Roman stage. The scenes are all from the book of Genesis.
Starting with the easiest.
What emotion is Hagar feeling on seeing this angel suddenly appear?
No longer in Eden, what emotion is Eve feeling?
Oh Lord! What is Abraham's mood after his wife's servant girl Hagar gives birth to his child?
Ignore the sheep! What feelings do these two brothers of Joseph have? (A third brother on the right feels the same.)
What is Abraham's mood before King Abimelech?
Is it just me, or do the others have a balance problem?