Monday, April 28, 2014
He laughed at me, this young man full of life and energy, ever spilling over with amusement. "Wow, Mom, did you ever do acid?"
A fair enough question, it was. I'd been talking about my recent airplane trip, the first time I'd flown with no one to watch over and no one to watch over me. To an acute, intentional observer like me, it was an ordinary experience full of surprise and wonder. I'd been describing the sensations of weightlessness and heaviness, giddiness and weariness. I'd admitted that I'd spent the first hour of the flight with my hand pressed to the glass, gazing out the window at the landscape and skyscape below and beyond me. I'd confessed that even the whiteness of the clouds was beautiful, the textures fascinating.
He laughed, yes, this one who craves and creates color and challenge and complexity.
"Who needs acid with a mind like mine?" I countered. He thinks I'm a little strange, I know. I wonder if I'm strange because I see, or simply strange because I slow down to look. I wonder if it's in all of us, the ability to see the color in whiteness, the challenge in stillness, the complexity in simplicity. I wonder if this young man will admit that he, too, sees what I see, but he paints his visions on canvas instead of speaking them in words.
I wish somehow we all could notice, pay attention, re-focus, that we could see, even just occasionally, the intricate beauty of life. I wish we all could celebrate, even on behalf of others, the victories of finishing a course, solving an equation, losing a pound, tying a knot, overcoming a failure. I wish we all could be amazed by ants, wowed by weather, nurtured by nature, tickled by technology, moved by music.
I wish - I think - I think I wish we all could fly sometime, all alone, with no one to interrupt the noticing, the focusing, the real life becoming dreamlike, the color and challenge and complexity of being, doing, living. Maybe not in a plane. Hopefully not with acid. But definitely high - as heaven is above earth, above the ordinary, out of the trenches, maybe over the rainbow?
Ha! He'll love that, the one who so enjoys teasing and taunting me. I'll reply, "If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh, why can't I?"*
I hope you'll fly.
* I know you know those aren't my original words there, the ones about the bluebirds. Of course they're from "Over the Rainbow" by E.Y. Harburg.