Thursday, May 28, 2009
Just maybe, the meaning of life
Two nights ago, I saw the most beautiful sky sweeping across our town's little harbor. Walking our two dogs at 8:30 p.m., I stood on the bluff and paused, feeling revrant and awed as I watched a thick line of fog move in to cover the land across the bay, giving the illusion of a canvas with wet colors or a bowl of melting pink and orange and creamy grey ice cream or, I don't know, something mythical, something unreal. As the dogs pulled me down the hill, I knew the gravity they were contending with was not a vertical pull, but a horizontal one. Whereas the rich rows of lilacs edging up from the hillside were slowing me down, the call of the lake, nearby, not frozen and yet so still, was driving my Teton and Dakota into a near-frenzy. We moved swiftly toward the shoreline, and when we got there, I was stopped in my tracks. By beauty.
Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by beauty? I kicked myself for not having my camera, but in that rare and fleeting timeframe to get outside-- without small children, without a to-do list-- I left without thinking.
And maybe that's okay.
I needed to see this horizon, vast and full, and not through a view finder. If you close your eyes and picture a shawl, made from the most wispy tangerine-colored yarn, spreading across a pale blue sky, reflecting in a pale blue lake-- that is what I was seeing. A sliver of a moon was shining through, and as the wall of fog softened, it dipped into the water, stretched up like a dance. It was 49-degrees. I inhaled, taking deep and slow bouts of cool evening air, silent and absorbed in each breath,
because it carried
the lake, the sky, the sounds of waves of birds, of breeze
into, out of my body.
By the way, that painting, which feels a lot like that night, was created by this artist, whom I am lucky enough to know and admire.