Monday, April 25, 2016

Visible shore

"Visible shore" by Hilary J. England, 2016, oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

Here's another little par coeur  painting I did regarding my thoughts on mortality, loss, and grappling to make sense of the passage of time and people.

I thought of what C.S. Lewis alluded to with the examination of death and the different metaphors he used, and what Tolkien had beautifully written about death being a distant shore.  I don't know if it was Tolkien that used a simple story to explain death and transition as a boat leaving port -- that when the ship leaves port, the people on the pier lose sight of the ship and feel sad watching it go and after it passes the horizon line and our field of vision, it seems to be gone altogether, yet  the people on the distant shore begin to see the appearance and arrival of that ship, and rejoice.  The passing through the veil.  The veil between life and death, the veil of tears.

As we get older and see the speeding up of these processes in relation to each year that passes, in some instances, we can see that shore starts to grow more visible.  You can turn your head away, and pretend you don't see what you truly see, but I think it's better to make peace with the truth, and to not fight what is on the horizon.

Making peace with things we absolutely resist is one of the greatest challenges of life, but it is part of the essential experience we must grow through as humans.  And, like all humans, I continue to struggle with certain things, and I think it will not grow easier with time, just more acceptable.

At least that's my hope.

"The journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise."  Tolkien


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