The Ways of the Third Age
Each of us has his or her great dream, to see and in a amazing way experience something uniquely beautiful, to experience the feeling of absolute happiness. But it is sometimes necessary to travel a long way along lifes journey in order to be able to make just one small step towards the recognition of what is the most importent, the most beautiful, the most valuable, to be able to say that one has found ones happiness. To reach the dreamed-of happiness is the same aim for all people, but everyone takes a different route to reach this aim.
We set off on each of your journeys with the hope that this journey will be the one where we cross the beyond the horizon into the Promised Land, which will be just as we longingly imagined it to be. This expectation, that the border between heaven and earth is also the gate into land of fulfiled wishes, is both beautiful and deceptive. With each step the horizon is indeed ever nearer, but it is also receding into its own transformation, with new hopes and new secrets. It is a never-ending pilgrimage and only the pilgrim who understands that it is impossible to find the way to happiness, and that happiness is in fact in the decision (the decision to set off on a journey), could reach the aim.
In the same way that electricity is generated in a wire in a magnetic field, we also by our own movement across our planet cut across invisible lines of energy, thereby awakening new energies in ourselves. Rays of sunlight, the earth, trees, water, wind, beautiful buildings built in accordance with the Golden Rule, Art. Something radiates from all these things, and our pilgrimage is under its influence. It form us, if we are alert, open-minded and grateful observants. That „Something“ is recognition. Recognising the cosmos and its natural laws as our great fundamenal principles leads to a fuller understanding of ourselves, our essence and the meaning of life. This in turn leads to an insight into the possibility of harmonious union between ourselves and everything around us. Only this will bring calmness into our souls, only this is happiness.
Unfortunately not everyone can reach this understanding. For many of us, whose lives are dedicated to work and family, the realization of this great longing is perpetually postponed. While the dream stays young and lovely, the person ages. One could become seriously ill, or find oneself in a situation where one suddenly realizes that one no longer has the time, the strength or the means to fulfil his dream; the final and rightful reward for ones life-journey.
On the basis of these thoughts the association „Ways of the Third Age“ was founded. Its main aim is to actively use the human and professional skills, especially of older people, to create and present multimedia work about travel and culture, to be presented at various talks and lectures. An integral part of the activity of our association is presenting created work (films, photographs) in care-homes and nursing homes for the elderly for a symbolic fee, to give them the opportunity to join in the experience of the pilgrimages, expeditions and trips.
For those who want to become pilgrims on one of the pilgrimages, for seekers, or for ordinary onlookers, we will make a series of documentaries about interesting topics over the following years. We want to capture the magic and genius-loci of interesting landscapesin their historical context, the radiance of sacred places, the joy and beauty of folk festivals, proud monuments of the human spirit, the skill of human hands, ordinary and festival days in the countryside, and in towns and cities. All in all, the thousands of pieces which together make up the mosaic of life on this planet.
It is sometimes said that you should live each day as if it were your last. To apprehend and absorb everything, to welcome and bid farewell to everything, to delight in everything, because we are alive, and we could still do something. In the process of documenting the Quest, each day of filming should be filled with these kinds of experiences. From the birth of each day, when the rays of light run through the landscape, with the essence of blossom and birdsong and the chorus of natural elements, with all the stories which fly through space around us; from all this to the fire of the early evening sky at dusk, and the soothing blue veil of night.
Although we realise that many people don't have the time or the courage to set off on the journey of recognition, we also know that many of these people are willing and able to actively use their knowledge, to share their experiences from professional and cicil life, and to help those less fortunate than themselves. Our first pilgrimage will be following a historical event. We will visit many beautiful places, including important pilgrimage sites such as Prague, Koln, Santiago de Compostela, Montserrat, Fátima, Avignon, Saintes Maries de La Mer, Canterbury, Salisbury and Mariazell. Al those who wish to join us in person, to assist in any way, to give advice, to share experiences etc., will be warmly welcomed.
Jan Hanzal - The Author of the Project - member of Association of Czech Cinematographers