Monday, January 31, 2005

Sweet like harmony, made into flesh.

So sunny and yet so cold. I love that contrast. Somehow the sun never seems so bright as when the air is frozen and dry. The river is so clear and vibrant, with floes of ice and snow. I like being able to look over there and see it, unlike those dark and cloudy days where you’d never know it was there.

Water has always had a calming effect on me. I like to think that’s because we all, as humans, have some evolutionary connection to it. It covers the majority of this planet, it makes up the majority of our bodies. And like our own bodies it’s full of so many bizarre and unknown things which we’ll never see ourselves. So full of life, but so incomprehensible and full of mystery. In some of my darkest times, I’ve been able to escape to the water and take stock. Heal. Its depth, its seeming infinity, always works some sort of magic.

The stars, too. So frequently I forget they’re even up there, but then, when I take the time to look up—really look up and see them—I remember how vast this universe actually is. For whatever reason, it can be so comforting to be reminded of how small and insignificant we really are. Not just we humans in relation to this water-covered planet, but also this tiny little speck of a planet in relation to all of that endless space.

I’ll never forget a time when, some months after 9/11, I walked up to the Museum of Natural History (which I had never visited before) and spent the day exploring it on my own, walking through its endless halls, sitting through presentations in the planetarium. That day really helped lend some much-needed perspective, and I think, was the first day I felt like I truly could begin to heal.

Similarly, I remember a sunny day where I was trudging along, worked up about something or other, head pointed down to the ground, when I walked by a pile of trash upon which was leaning a large shard of glass from a mirror. The shard was positioned in just such a way that as I walked by, I saw the reflection of one piece of pure blue, unobstructed, cloudless sky. No buildings, no pigeons, no trees, no airplanes. Nothing but a shard of blue. And I remember thinking to myself, “Huh. I forgot that was up there.”

And suddenly, everything seemed just a little bit lighter, as if the reminder that the sky was there, and above it all of space and the universe, somehow made me realize not only how small and insignificant we are, but also how easily we become so focused on our own little surroundings; our own little footsteps and the few feet of ground that surround them. It’s when we actually look up or look around that we stop feeling overwhelmed. Even if logic indicates that the opposite should be true.


Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

These moments are crucial to my survival. In winter, I use books to get away, in summer, I walk around. Anything from mulberries crushed by bicycle tires to wild roses growing from a fence can fix my universe.

1:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home