Sunday, February 10, 2013

Look, Up In The Sky!

It's a sinking feeling. We've probably all been there too. It's a particular kind of helplessness. And it usually plays out over a long stretch of time. We're talking years here. So what is this I'm introducing here and why am I being so mysterious. It needs a name, but I'm still searching. Just for he sake of this discussion we'll call it emotional blindness. An example is in order. Ever have a conversation with someone you care about that involves a poor choice they seem to have made? Most often it takes the form of a person they've recently met or are dating. Your intuition tells yo that something is very wrong here. Emotionally your friend can't see the reality before their eyes. They can't acknowledge that they may be moving too fast. That the person they find so charming right now isn't really the person they are so infatuated with. Tough call. But sometimes we, like our loved ones find ourselves particularly vulnerable. We talk a good game. We like to repeat that we know what we are doing, that we have no expectations, that we can handle it...we got this. Sometime in the immediate future we may wish we'd have done more to discourage or friend to reconsider the choices they are about to make. Our choices are limited. We can't slap them into reality. We can only urge, plead, perhaps even use humor to make them see the predicament they are sculpting out of false hope and denial. So we sink. Together or alone. It happens to most everyone at some time or another. The only salvation I can offer is that these mistakes in blind faith ofter teach us a good deal about ourselves. As Rilke, the great poet once declared, "Time spent in the difficult is always worthwhile."
II. Been thinking some more about the over use of the word awesome. The irony here is that if everything is labeled "awesome" then very little really is up to that standard. OK, that figures, but it got me thinking further. Maybe for younger generations there really is less awe in the universe. I've heard and read about the loss of wonder. But I'm wondering (pun intended) if that really isn't the case. In this age of instant communication, media everywhere 24/7 and video of every move you make, it's quite feasible that it takes a lot more to induce wonder in the natural world. I saw this quite literally a couple of days ago. I was waiting at a red light on a drive across town when I chanced to see a young man standing by a bus stop. He was fiddling with a small screen, wearing earphones, and looking down. Above his head the clouds billowed in huge celestial whorls. The palate of white to gray to blue black was breathtaking....awesome.

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