Marjorie Owen’s painting The Last Furlong heads my blog. I bought this panting just before Marjorie died. She spent her life training horses and illustrating books. She did many Rupert Bear Books. I feel sad there is so little about her on the Internet. She was a tiny woman who, amazingly to me, worked with huge horses. Her oils of horses were wonderful. And she pleased generations of children with her Rupert pictures. In those Rupert illustrations, Rupert is defined by simplicity of detail, of what is left out, not by details put in. As a child, I loved Rupert Bear.
In The Last Furlong painting, I can see the same simplicity. This painting, to me, represents how life is. The excitement of it. The loss of little details over the passage of time and in the effort and speed of the race. In the beginning we are bunched up as each generation leaves the starting gate. As we spread out over the furlongs of the route, some in front, some behind, we might notice the other runners’ details briefly in passing or following them. But we are most aware of our own details, for we remain closest to ourselves.
I am in the last furlong of my life. I am wanting to keep up the pace before the wish to achieve anything leaves me. I might not be the front-runner, nor might I receive ribbons, sashes or glory, but I want to pass the finishing post with as much enthusiasm for life as I can muster.