One date looms large on the horizon at the moment, 21 June 2021, a date which promises to deliver us our freedom, at last. In this month's Pause for Thought, Jez Brown, Lead Chaplain, talks to us about horizons and how they can be the promise of new beginnings, wild adventures and peaceful promise. Yet there is much to be said about lowering our eyes to the path directly in front of us, as Jez explains:
‘Where’s the horizon?’ the art teacher would ask us as we each prepared to paint our first masterpiece in Art, Year 9.
"Now I always thought that the horizon could be anywhere you wanted it to be – and that appeared to be the correct answer. I didn’t articulate my superior knowledge in front of the rest of the aspiring artists of class 1M1 on the basis that I had never been able to sketch or paint, and really didn’t want to draw attention to my own masterpiece when once it had been completed! However, inwardly I jumped for joy and understood just how Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso must have felt when he painted The Old Guitarist in 1904 – where behind the haggard, seated musician, playing his guitar on the streets of Barcelona, a painted line on the building behind him is the horizon, on which he appears to be resting his head!
"Let’s hear it for the horizon close by!
"The horizon – wherever you choose to draw the line across a page – will always be at eye level. It’s positioning determines where we seem to be looking from, and even though the horizon might not feature in the completed work, the knowledge that it is hidden from view, still gives perspective to the whole.
"I recently came across this piece written by Jenny Johnston, in the Durango Herald:
‘While in reality you could walk and never physically reach the horizon, we all have a personal horizon in front of us where our sky touches our earth, where our dreams touch our reality. If we can find the strength to take a chance and move from the edge of one to the other, then that is where we find personal opportunity.’
"Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday of this week of a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, all of our personal horizons will slowly start to be redrawn to some extent. My prayer for all of us is that, in our desire to rush to the unreachable horizon, we don’t miss out on enjoying the journey that takes us there.