Per ardua ad astra (the motto of the RAF) translates as through adversity to the stars. It is a fine sentiment but is it what I – an earth bound mortal – should be aiming for, the stars? Do I dare? What if I fail? But surely that is the important part of the quote after all is the adversity, the arduous toil in the dark and not the brief moment basking in the (reflected) glory of the stars.
But how do I start on the long trek towards that precious dream? Well I guess the answer would have to be carefully and beginning at the bottom. I would be a fool to expect the going to be easy or to even reach the final destination. As I don’t have a celestial sat-nav I can expect to make wrong turns but all I can do is try to aim for the next milestone along the way and stop and ask the way when lost.
I read yesterday (Daily Mail, 27 June 2014) that Professor Ronald Hutton of Bristol University had speculated that Stonehenge as well as being the “… most famous prehistoric monument in the entire world” was a great engineering cock-up. Either through rushing or poor planning our ancestors did not fulfil their vision, but what a vision and with little more than sticks and stones as tools – boy did they have a hell of a go.
While I’m not personally planning a project on the scale of Stonehenge and I wouldn’t suggest just because I’ve painted a couple that I could touch up the Sistine Chapel for the Vatican, but I am starting on the foundations of my own project and do look up at the sky occasionally and think Per ardua ad astra.