Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The View From Here

There's a saying that I've heard about the beauty of mountains only being appreciated by those seeing them from a distance. Lots of truth in that cause the view up close, when you're navigating the terrain, is a lot like life gets sometimes when you're struggling to survive. Attraction gets buried beneath the weight of labor as we struggle to keep our footing and a mountain, up close, is just a big rock. So it is with where we live, quite often. We take for granted what is right in front of us always searching for greener grass. Sunday, I was watching an episode of Iconoclast featuring Filmmaker, Sean Penn and Mountaineer/Writer John Krakauer, ventured to Alaska to, literally, pour out a lil' liquor in memory of Christopher McCandless, the subject of Krakauer's book, Into the Wild which Penn adapted into a movie. Not having read the book, I can't say what Krakauer discovered about the young man who donated his life savings to charity after graduating college and decided to test his survival skills in the wilderness of Alaska, only to die four months later. But seeing the beauty of the landscape from the photos, I do understand the allure. The aerial views enticed me and I wanted to go to Alaska immediately and inhale the air that looked as pure as lethal uncut heroin. But I don't own a plane and in a few hours, the new employer would expect me to show up at work plus my money just doesn't allow for spontaneity right now. So, desire climbs in the back seat and responsibility takes the wheel, pushing the whip while my fantasy rides shotgun onto the list of places I must visit before I die, which is as long and wide as a country road. But what to do in the mean time to satisfy that urge to experience something breathtaking? Fall back from the monotony of survival and see what wonders, I look past every day with my eyes wide open and dreaming of far away places.

Yesterday, it was the sunset. Been so busy lately, I hadn't even paid much attention to it. When I first moved here, it was all I could do. Sitting and waiting for it like a love-struck character from romance novel. Watching it yesterday was like looking at a lover you've gotten so familiar with that you forgot what attracted you in the first place. And suddenly when you pay attention you fall in love all over again. With all the construction going on near where I live, I had to drive slowly and snap photos. Gorgeous, no?Remember back in the elementary school when chores were fun? My favorite thing to do after painting was emptying the paint containers into the sink. I loved watching all the colors swirl together in a psychedelic mixture before it swirled down the drain returning the sink to its stainless steel shininess. That's how the the sky looked. Like the creator had just finished an art project and was rinsing the paint containers while swirls of orange, mauve, gray and blue drained from the sky before it faded from dusk to black.
That trip to Alaska is still on my list, before Morocco and right after Egypt. But just for a moment, I was satisfied with the wonder that is close at hand. And it was free! I know this blog is supposed to be about the journeys we take to distant places but sometimes traveling is just a matter of opening your eyes. What about you? What beautiful thing/s is right in front of you but you have neglected to notice lately because you are enticed by the allure of faraway mountains?


Kizzy Preston said...

You are a brilliant writer. The way you spoke of actually paying attention to what we see everyday being a sort of vacation was wonderful. I'm definitely inspired to take a closer look at the world around me. Lately I have been looking at the trees as the leaves change colors. The color combinations are nothing short of miraculous. And I always think to myself, God is the most amazing artist.

James Tubman said...

That was the most beautiful blog i've evr read. You better get back on the ball. I haven't posted in a long time but I just put something on so you should check it out.

I don't know, one of the most beautiful things I never pay attention to I would have to say is my city Baltimore.

There is so much negativity in the news about how bad this city is but it's quite beautiful if you go downtown to the harbor or just catch several busses around the city.

I'm not saying it's perfect, but the scenes that you see going to and fro are memorable.

When you get a chance visit me back at

Ashe and Amandla!

Britta Coleman said...

"I look past every day with my eyes wide open and dreaming of far away places." -- Beautiful.

Gorgeous pics, too. Keep up the dreaming and writing.

Goldilocs said...

Thanks for stopping by. That's a wonderful post. I appreciate the rising of the sun more now since I start work at an ungodly hour - and have not seen it rise for months. The clocks going forward has been one of the high points of this year!

poet9000 said...

Tag, you're it!