Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Air Is Crisp, Can't You Tell?

The air is crisp with a bit of that winter breeze still blowing through the trees, although one could feel the subtle heat of the midday sun on one's forehead and hands. The faint smell of jasmine flowers filled the chilly breeze with a welcome new fragrance of the spring quickly approaching. The light is brilliant as it reflects off the tall green palms and mature eucalyptus trees across the quite street. One could hear a distant plane flying over head and the sound of a few passing cars on the street behind, but none of these man-made noises could take away from the elegance of the day. Even the black birds seem to relish in the light of this day, there is a certain excitement in the air and the birds and squirrels know it well. As one walks down the street towards the shops, cafes, and eateries one can almost overlook the beauty of an Earth that has nothing in particular to do, an Earth that has permission to simply rejoice in its own ways. It only takes one thought to pull one's attention away from the beauty of this marvelous Earth.
For, unless one is fully aware, one thought will always lead to another and the subtle beauty of the Earth is lost. We seem so easily caught up in our own internal "realities". Constructed not unlike a bridge or building, our own internal process of thinking creates countless landscapes from words, phrases, memories and images. It would seem the human being would rather live in these constructed worlds than the one we're born into and of. Walking to the Pacific Ocean, past the busy shops, cafes, and eateries one can't help but notice the collision of these internal "realities" with the one we all live in and share. How convoluted the relationship between man and man, man and woman, woman and woman, has become. How no one knows were they stand, what they want, or even who they are from one moment to the next. Thought has become the cornerstone of our society, and if one is able to pay much attention to the nature and movement of thought, one would realize how absurdly dangerous it's claiming that position can be. Thought is always limited, partial, and incomplete. It can never arrive at the "whole" view about anything, yet always acts as if it can and has. It's very movement, therefore, creates further conflict and partiality, which it once again attempts to alter through it's own movement. Is the human being capable of seeing thoughts activity so completely as to no longer allow it to compulsively react within the field of our relationship with one another?
As one reaches the wide expanse of the Pacific one is left with a sense of awe for the sheer space and beauty of such a sight. The sunlight shimmering over the rough ocean surface breaks itself apart into countless pieces of dancing light. The tide is going out but the waves are still quite large. A sizable storm had been moving off-shore and the ocean is left to respond to all the added energy. Those few people out there on their surfboards look so small, so insignificant in comparison to those large, bellowing waves of churning white water. A small girl, no older than 8, is playing in the sand, holding her pant-legs up above her knees. Her excitement is refuge enough from the cold ocean water racing across her bare feet and ankles. As one looks at her playing one is taken aback by the sheer space of it all. The incredibly huge space surrounding this beautiful young silhouette playing in the glistening sand. One's gaze becomes so relaxed as to allow itself to be filled with the sight before it. There is nothing but space and no thought is present. Only that, whatever that is at the time. Life is happening and nothing else, there is no room for distinction. All is welcome in this gaze, all except thought. Thought is no where to be found.