Gone West August 26, 2012

A long  time class mate and buddy of mine died last week. We both had in common our love for the Sea and Tall Ships. When he was ill I was motivated to paint him a painting to ease his pain. Steve passed before I could complete it, so I presented to his wife Diane, last night at my High School Reunion/51st Birthday Party. 

On the back I posted this prayer, written by an ancestor of mine, William Penn, which gives a new perspective on life —and death:

“We give back to you, O God, Those whom you gave to us. You did not lose them when you gave them to us and we do not lose them by their return to you.
Your dear Son taught us that life is eternal and that love cannot die.
So, death is only a horizon. And an horizon is only the limit of our sight.
Open our eyes to see more clearly and draw us closer to you,
that we may know that we are nearer to our loved ones – who are with you.
You have told us that you are preparing a place for us. Prepare us also for that place, that where you are, we may be also, always, O dear Lord of life and death.”

I often think of that picture of life and Earth as a horizon. I picture myself standing on the wharf watching a sailing ship going out across the ocean.
When it finally disappears over the horizon I think: “ He’s gone.”
But, beyond that horizon, I know there is a welcoming committee watching the ship arriving and they cry: “Here he comes! Here he comes!”

Thank you Steve, for showing us the way. Journey well my friend.

"Gone West"
12x8  oil/board 2012

Painted for Steve and Diane Taraldsen and family August 25, 2012