"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Gates in our lives, and years

A season of gates," 5 x 7 watercolor card
As a cliche', we're about to close the gate on one year, and open it on another.
But there is nothing cliche' about gates, though they are symbolic in many ways, especially of fear or insecurity, of excluding, though also of opportunity. I prefer to think of them as beckoning, openings to adventure.
Historically, in times of walled cities, or communities (our "gated" communities), or nations (Berlin, America's southern border),  or back yards (to contain pets or provide privacy), gates were portals to keep people out, admitting only those we agree with. The Old Testament is full of such references, of people being "outside the gate." 
Thus John's words in Rev. 21 portended a new day: 
"In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed..."
On the Great Plains, or in the West, the iconic barb wire gates always catch my imagination.
The word "gate" comes from the Old English geat "gate, door, opening, passage, hinged framework barrier," from Proto-Germanic *gatan (source  of Old Norse gat "opening, passage," Old Saxon gat "eye of a needle, hole," Old Frisian gat "hole, opening," Dutch gat "gap, hole, breach." 
More than you wanted to know. But no wonder I paint gates, including a recent sale to friend Debbie Blossom, entitled, "Did you close the gate?" which only a rural person would catch the humor.
"Did you close the gate?" 8 x 10 watercolor

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