Friday, July 7, 2006

watchman, what of this night?

"There are people who only graze the surface and go no deeper than flies in their walk. Others, on the contrary, leave traces where they have been, and store what they have touched."

~ Pierre Nicole

Hot summer nights- late at night- can be quite like late nights in winter. The elements bid us to interrupt our pace, be it to suddenly notice the air perfumed with jasmine and trees heavy with bloom, or to seek warm shelter and look out to the cold streets. We stop and regain our senses, which remind us that with just a bit of effort we can sense what is happening around us beneath that which is immediate. Daily life is surely more than what screams loudest.

It has always amazed me, even since my high school years, how many go through their motions and have no appetite for more than the immediate: the deadline, the paycheck, the sporting event. Certainly there is something commendable in living the moment, but that would be more like a full awareness of all that a moment of ones life encompasses and witnesses: a perspective of a slice of time which sees beyond the surface. Admittedly it is tempting to set up camp on the shallow surface, embracing that television ethos which shows no subtlety or ramification. Its all on the here-and-now surface. Even the way current events are presented to us, it is implicit that we will not care to delve. In this prevailing culture, we are encouraged to passively absorb what is set before us. How about if we challenge? Or weigh an issue in our consciences? It does shake things up, and invites opportunities to form personal views. There are a few of us left.

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