Using the other horizon

We use the horizon line to keep ourselves oriented in space. The horizon tells us if we are right side up, upside down or on our side. The horizon stays put regardless of our movement in space. It remains horizontal when we get high above the ground. It remains distant when we move toward it or try to "go beyond the blue horizon". There seems to be no possible relocation or reorientation of the horizontal horizon.

When we find home base in our minds, we've found a different orienting horizon. In contrast to the horizontal one, this one seems to be vertical. Rather than extending as far as our eyes can see, this alternative horizon crosses that horizontal line.

Our popular culture includes numerous reminders of this other horizon. There's a band "Vertical Horizon". There are those Mountain Dew commercials to "get vertical" that speak to surf, snow and skateboarders pursuit of "grabbing some air" and "getting some hang time". There's the wireless company named with a concatenation of vertical horizon: Verizon. My favorite is Brian Griffin's cover art for Howard Jones 1989 album: cross that line.

The vertical horizon intersects space time rather than orienting those three dimensions of picture planes with depth. The vertical horizon suggests a fourth dimension that encompasses the familiar three. It shows us the orientation toward an endless, timeless moment. The vertical horizon reveals right now to be eternity.

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