The description for this blog is "these are the things that intrigue and inspire me." I suppose it's obvious that I'm mostly inspired by books, but there are an endless amount of things that catch my interest. One thing that's been affecting me lately is this painting by Ted Nasmith:

It's been my desktop image for a week, and I keep noticing more things I like about it. Aesthetically, I love the width of the landscape, the majesty of the mountains & clouds, and especially the depth & lustre of the sea. But more than that, I love how the light at the top of the mountain is bright, but hidden. You can see that there must be a great canyon beyond the brink, but that too is hidden. The scene is beautiful, but it heightens your desire to see more. I also love the subtle details like the waterfall on the mountainside and the birds flying between the ship and the shoreline. If you look closely, you can see figures on the ship, clasping each other with their arms outstretched toward the light.

The title of this piece is The Shores of Valinor. It is inspired by The Silmarillion (so I suppose it's literary as well as artistic...of course it would still have to do with books...) Valinor is, in some ways, the paradise of Middle-earth. What the painting signifies to me is the heavenly fulfillment of our desires for greatness & beauty. Heaven will be everything our hearts have ever longed for because it will be complete unity with God. When I was little, I remember not wanting to go to heaven because I didn't want to leave all the delights of earth. But what I didn't realize was that heaven is all the delights of earth multiplied by infinity.

The couple on the ship have made a journey - a long, difficult journey - and have depended on each other to complete it. They have two arms reached out in rapture and two arms grasping each other. To me it's a picture of true friendship. The aim of true friends is to help each other reach Heaven - union with God. And that's what a marriage of two souls should always be.

Those are just some of the things that have been going through my head as I've logged onto my computer every day. ;) It's good to have a constant reminder to set my thoughts on worlds far off / where we only cry from joy.
Set your sails upon the mighty winds of May
Set your sails upon the hope of June
Set your sails upon the air of warm July
Set your course for Heaven's shore!
- Future of Forestry
[Music is another thing that inspires me a great deal; I should write about it more often!]


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