Under The Shadow of Your Wings, Act Two

Cicely recovers her confidence, whilst living in the country. She returns home before the war is over, to execute a new commission from the local church: painting the seven sacraments onto panels around the font. Dorothy becomes increasingly frustrated with her sister because Cicely refuses to explore weightier, spiritual matters; her work remains, in Dorothy’s view, superficial. Dorothy has thrown herself into war-work and has little time for Cicely’s dreaming. The tension between the two sisters is increasingly apparent.

A year or two after the war, Cicely has re-established herself as a well-known artist but she has also completed another large religious work. The family throw a party to celebrate the completion of this work. Two mysteries hover around it. Who is the man on whom Cicely has modelled Jesus and who is the little girl running towards him. It is Dorothy who deduces that Peter has been Cicely’s god all these years; she has immortalised him for herself and the little girl is a self-portrait of Cicely, running into Peter’s arms. This becomes clear at the same time as Dorothy recognises that she has served no useful purpose. Her health, which has been weakening for a number of years, breaks. Dorothy  suffers a fatal heart-attack. Cicely recognises her own limitations.

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