Getting Close to Christopher Columbus

Alison JamesArticles

In celebration of Columbus Day 2012, Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi designed and constructed a living room on scaffolding placed around New York City’s column-topping statue of Christopher Columbus sculpted by Sicilian born Gaetano Russo. Several flights of steps now lead you up to the 6-storey high “room with a view” of Central Park and the City.  The 13 foot high statue itself is about to receive a restoration after an 120 year stint with the pigeons at Columbus Circle. This iconic statue was erected in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ historic voyage to “sail the ocean blue” with the goal of reaching China and the Orient by heading west from Spain. Born in the Republic of Genoa, Italy, and financed and under the auspices of the Spanish court, Columbus set sail in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and Niña ships alongside, hoping for the favorable easterlies to blow from behind taking him to his calculated destination; the rest is history.

While history’s accounts of Columbus may have been revisited many times, it is Columbus’ three epic voyages to the Americas that led to the first and lasting contact of Europe with the west. Despite the ensuing tragedies of colonization and conquest, to this day Christopher Columbus remains a hero for his courage to undertake such journeys. He had narrowly escaped a deathly watery fate in 1476 when the commercial fleet with which he was sailing was attacked by a group of French privateers off the coast of Portugal, the country where he subsequently landed, lived,  married and had a son. After the death of his first wife, he remarried and had a second son. Nothing deterred him, however, from embarking on this hard-won and highly risky undertaking.

Can you imagine setting forth over unknown and treacherous waters armed with only a few primitive hand instruments: a compass, an astrolabe (a primitive sextant), and a cross-staff and back-staff (to calculate the angles for longitude and latitude). He relied on celestial navigation as maps were meager and navigation was barely a science then. That the world was round, or potentially elliptical, but not flat, was something that Columbus had wondered about and hoped to fathom. Despite so many “un-givens”, Columbus set sail on the Atlantic Ocean towards an ever watery horizon, navigating and calculating his position as best he knew how. He found himself in a never-ending reality between water and sky at the mercy of the elements: ocean currents, shifting winds and changeable weather, with no land in sight. Five weeks later, his commissioned delegation landed in what is now known as The Bahamas.

Learning to master oneself in the face of adversity gives strength and courage. What dreams, excitement and determination must have been coursing through Columbus’ veins? No doubt, the combination of his life experiences and skills led him to pursue his vision and ultimately to make this mark upon history.  When one remembers today that Columbus was the very personage of our Beloved Ascended Master Saint Germain, now the overseer of the Ascension for planet Earth from the higher realms AND the very essence of the Violet Flame, it is assuredly no accident that due to his efforts the Americas landed in the global equation of evolution.

As you sit atop Columbus Circle on a purple (no accidents here!) couch surrounded by draperies, a lamp, book shelves, living room furniture and Tatzu Nishi-designed wallpaper, looking out at New York City’s skyline and horizon, you are treated to armchair theatre of a different ilk. This is a wonderful opportunity to ponder Columbus and his extraordinary journey – and to get a bird’s eye view of the City. Our lives are so different today. In our urban environments we have become so removed from nature and the elements. Columbus, for me, is a reminder for us to connect with our physical world and to spend time in nature.

But consider this: does your view and perspective differ so much from that of Columbus? Your endeavors may not be so extreme, so physically demanding or life-threatening, yet stepping out of your comfort zone requires courage and you know not where you will land. We can know, however, that wherever we are led, we are fulfilling the Divine Plan for our lives and making an impact on our shared world. It is important to remember that our individual dreams are no less important than those of Columbus. As our lives become more and more intertwined on a global scale, we are realizing that our collective goals are becoming more congruent and aligned, yet there is always room for genius, leadership and creativity, such as Columbus demonstrated.

I asked Saint Germain what was the greatest lesson he drew from that epic journey, and he replied “Freedom”. I infer Freedom from fear, self-doubt and self-denial, and freedom to live, to be and to love. It has far greater import than our most common application, “freedom of speech”. On a broader scale, we have yet to fully grasp the full meaning of the word. Saint Germain further tells us:

It is to your own inner discovery you must look.  While the world at large may appear to be shrinking in size, this is a perspective drawn from lifetimes spent in search for greater meaning and for God. This search remains as important today as it has ever been.  Spend your time wisely in search of Self and you will find that all your gifts and talents will lead you, like Christopher Columbus, to your personal destiny.  YOU are an integral part of the accelerated course of Ascension and I en-courage you to embrace the truth of who you are and all that has been gifted unto you.”

Perhaps you will visit this new installation in New York City (open till November 18, 2012) and tune in to Christopher Columbus. Remember that you may also visit the statue in Central Park of Shakespeare, another of Saint Germain’s earthly incarnations. Perhaps you, like Columbus, have a vision for yourself that you are wondering about. It is good to wonder about things, isn’t it? We are free to do so and to pursue our dreams.

I wonder if Londoners will be afforded a similar view by Tatzu Nishi from atop Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square? Such notable figures can speak to us still, beyond sculpted marble and stone, through life example, imagery and energetically – marvellous, isn’t it?

The following is a poem I wrote some years ago.  I share it here.


Icon, icon on the wall,
Whose image is the most powerful of all?
Does your consciousness invade mine?
Does your picture transcend time?

Icon, icon, do you see?
Are your eyes watching me?
Does your image permeate space
When I focus on your face?

Icon, icon, do you thrive
To see your presence forever survive?
Does attention to your presentation
Bring forth earthly manifestation?

Icon, icon, like a book
You direct my thoughts when I look,
You brand your presence, like I am drinking
In your spirit to lift my thinking.

Icon, icon, Christ or saint,
Or religious leader, now of paint,
Or sculpture, or metal, or mosaic,
Your influence is beyond the prosaic.

Icon, icon, if you fade,
Your impact on my mind’s inlaid,
For you’re a part of history,
I awe and revere your destiny.

Icon, icon, I remember your past,
You escaped the iconoclast,
May your presence forever impress
Itself on universal awareness.