Today’s Word: ‘Voyage’ as in… we’re all on a voyage. Some of us are in the open water, others are still tied to the pier.
Back to the painting.
There are several components that, taken as a whole, add up to a remarkable story of a young man with vision. Most likely at the age of ten he’d already experienced the open sea and the thrill of the voyage. He then lived with that vision until the end of his life. But taken separately, each component has something to teach us.
First, there is the harbor.
It seems to be a safe place. The pace seems slow, deliberate, and calm. In the background, a ship is being loaded; readied for another voyage. We can imagine that a crew is working hard to supply the ship with everything the adventurers will need to meet the demands of the voyage ahead. But still, it’s safe, measured, and controlled; no storms are brewing in this harbor.
Next, there is the large iron ring in the forefront of this painting.
The ring is attached securely into the concrete pier. It’s there to securely hold any sailing vessel that would be anchored and moored. As Columbus sits directly over this ring though, it seems to add to his conviction about what he’s about to do. There’s a clear message: “Nothing can hold me back!”
Then there are the three figures behind Columbus.
20 feet away, three men are pondering the waters of the safe harbor. The juxtaposition between Columbus and the others could not be more striking. The three are huddled together in the shadows. They are turned inward, their faces are trained on the interior of the harbor, they are focused on the safe waters just over the side of the pier. Columbus, on the other hand is turned outward, his face is fully set into the bright sun; he’s looking out beyond the harbor to the open sea.
We’re all on a voyage. Some of us are in the open water while others are still tied to the pier. Where are you?