Peter Clarke (1929 - )
The Inn Keeper

mixed media
50 x 35cm

Sometimes singly, sometimes in small groups, people are always on
the way, coming, going, somewhere or other. Certain people pop in
regularly & so with them one becomes familiar. But there are the
others who are the strangers that one never gets to know. They come to the inn.
We offer them our services, a meal, a bed for the night, a stable for their animals,
a roof overhead. The next day they pay their coins & depart for one knows not
where. The world, afterall, is such a big place.
But occasionally certain figures stand out. They leave some kind of impression
I remember the couple that arrived one winter's night. Everybody had come
to Nazareth. It seemed the whole of the Galilee had come to town because it
was afterall, the time of the Great Census. The place was crowded. There
wasn't place for a flea. I had to turn people desperate away into the chilly
night. It could not be helped. We had our hands full.
The woman was much younger than her husband & she was great with child.
I couldn't take them in & said, no, no, no. But feeling sorry for these strangers
I relented. In actual fact there was something I noticed about them, different,
unusual, special, very special. But there was only my stable. The child was
born there. During the night there was an amazing group of visitors asking
to see the new arrival. I didn't know what to make of it all.
Sometimes I wonder what ever happened to that little child born in my stable.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.