There, Not Here
Everything begins elsewhere, he knows that: dawn, Christmas, love, beauty, terror, the wind, the sky, the horizon, his own soul. It begins far in the woods, or out on some windy field by the sea. He wants to be there, not here; he wants to be where things begin, and he is so close, so near. Only – for reasons he cannot explain – something stands in his way, something he didn’t ask for. Reason, terror, unworthiness, he can’t even name it, it takes different guises every time, but it is always there, standing in his way, keeping him from his destiny.
John Burnside, A Life About My Father
This quote from John Burnside is one of my favourite passages in the English language, the atmosphere of which I tried to capture in my 2014 painting ‘Christmas On Earth’ (above).