Good or bad, only a fool would assume that all days are equal. Good or bad, only the wise understand that all days are equal. I was/am/have been exhausted, in a funk, and spinning around in a vortex that I can’t seem to get out of. The minute I seem to get my feet back on solid ground, life starts spinning me around once again. This isn’t an unfamiliar refrain, but it’s certainly not my favorite song in the hymnal. I have a tendency toward optimism, and finding joys in the small details that life has to offer, but lately the deflated perspective from my whirling cyclone has blurred my outlook. It’s comparable to looking at the stars in the night sky while standing in the middle of a big city. You know the stars are there, but no matter how long you stare, you just can’t see them.
That’s been me lately… I know that beauty is all around me, and I’m confident that I’ll see it again soon, I haven’t forgotten where to look, I haven’t forgotten how to look, but just like the starry night in a big city, sometimes what’s right in front of us is very difficult to see.
Stagnation is the ally of my turmoil, and I refuse to languish, I do not intend to rot. I do not intend for this unwelcome moment to last long. If I can’t see the stars from my current post, then it is up to me to look harder, re-locate, or find the right tools to see once more.
“I am exhausted” is not an excuse, not today! Go out. Search. Don’t search. Get out of your head. Break the spell. Don’t search. Search!
I found it, or maybe it found me.
At the climbing gym, surrounded by pre-fabricated faux rock walls, and sculpted polyurethane “rocks” I was able to see. I saw nature, I saw friendship, I saw beauty, and for a second, inside of a building, on a cloudy night, in a bright and big city, I saw the stars.
Between two friends and the genius of Nature1 copied onto a sheet of salmon colored paper, I was reminded of the difference between looking and seeing. And was reminded that sometimes the only way to see is to stop looking.
“TO go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”
-R.W. Emerson (Nature Chapter One/Opening Paragraph)
“Yet it is certain that the power to produce this delight, does not reside in nature, but in man, or in a harmony of both.”
-R.W. Emerson (Nature Chapter One/Closing Paragraph)