Friday, 29 February 2008

In the Eyes of the Beholder

I will remember the sight of Her as long as I live.

I was maybe 8 or 10 years old, back from a Judo class in the next town.
Getting out of the car I stood in the driveway, neck bent backward, eyes riveted to the sky.

It was well after sunset and the stars shone deeply, steadily, around the northern pole. I felt as if I were falling upward.I couldn't move or speak for minutes which seemed to be hours.

I can call the picture up even now, maybe 40 years later, and am stunned all over again.

That beauty was inculcated so deeply into my soul that from that moment on I had no choice but to proceed to study Her.
Somewhere along the way, however, I forgot what had compelled me here.
I started to find the mechanics of Her motion interesting and beautiful in themselves, and then the mechanics of our metal creations became beautiful, too.
I fell in love several times with motorbikes.

I found the sight of Johannesburg at night, approaching from the south on the highway, profoundly lovely. A spaceport of a thousand suns, all lit up in towering glass and chrome.
The high arched flyovers were poetry themselves and the sleek vehicles the testimony to our magnificent creativity.

This is a load of bollocks of course-and an example of how easy it is to be acculturated into the mechanics of it all, to praise what we have made with our hands of flesh and brains of neurons.

This morning I stood watching the house martins, the lesser striped swallows and the redwinged starlings swoop, dive and snap roll their way across a pale blue sky fuzzed by flimsy clouds - I felt I saw again the deep imprint of our soul upon the universe. That we are the witness to her deep and abiding loveliness. This is our place, our calling, our vocation. To see it all,to drink it in, to grok the heartrending bliss of life and not-life.