The title of this book, Crossing, is borrowed from that of a painting by the contemporary artist Luke Elwes. The painting is reproduced on the cover. Crossing is an abstract landscape, at once the earth from space, a map of innumerable root-like pathways across a desert and a patterning of light and colour. The painting combines meandering lines, paths which unfold across its surface, with innumerable tiny crosses that mark the way – the very warp and woof of the brushwork. At the same time, the overall shape of the painting seems to lead us through a movement of light and dark that is both a single day and the pattern of a lifetime. This is a painting that invites us to become travellers in the landscape of our own lives. As the artist himself says:‘The lines are the paths of our own life, and the meandering course of all life, of branches, trees, roots and riverbeds. In their uninterrupted movement lies the search for markers, the signposts we need if we are to draw our own maps’. From this painting arises the theme I shall be exploring in the chapters that follow..