|The Blue & The Dim & the Gold - art installation by Jake Levers|
The installation showed a massive black and brown cloud rising up from the sea, as if viewed from a boat approaching shore. The viewer can interpret this image in many different ways, according to individual llife experiences. For me, it felt like a cloud of noxious fumes, ash and dust and gas spewing into the atmosphere - almost like the horrible aftermath of an oil-spill, billowing out, a poison cloud.
It's reaching up and trying to assert itself over the triangle of gold at the top of the image. Whether or not that happens depends on the balance of power between the noxious cloud and the gold.
But then I thought: If I am on a boat looking across the gold reflection on the sea to that threatening cloud, there is a central point at which the cloud is much closer to the horizon, and the gold is reaching down the furthest. So it looks as if by the time I get there and pass through, the gold may have filtered down to the horizon and parted the cloud and started to push the two clouds apart.
Or is that just a delusion of perspective? A mirage?
I could just say, "I don't want to go there at all", turn round and travel back in the opposite direction. Or I could throw myself overboard in despair.
Such is the dilemma we often face in the writing life.
There is no guarantee of success and there never will be.
If I keep going ahead, and brave the noxious cloud, by the time I get there, will the gold have parted the cloud? Shall I sail straight ahead in the hope of that?
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But do not be afraid; I have overcome the world."
And the Psalmist often plunged into depths of despair yet rose above those waves to praise God again, and again, and to see His glory.
And so, upheld by the gold, we sail across the blue line of decision.