Thursday, February 23, 2006

"The days have been exceedingly bright. One can’t escape the sun: it demands attention, both indoors and out. It’s a cold sun, yes, but I’m under the growing suspicion that a cold sun is the best type. The bright light paints everything so clearly and the chill in the air leads you to realize that you are experiencing this clarity in a very sensitive human body. It’s a razor sharp line between misery and joy. At times the line is crossed and crossed back again with each step."

-Ben's blog

I really can't help myself. I had to put this quote up here, because it is precisely how I have felt about the cold days in Minnesota. During the last weekend of temperatures dipping to 35 below zero, I often contemplated my own death accompanied by the thought of why anyone in their right mind would move to Minnesota.

But then, as always, I am amazed. Yesterday, I walked out of work into a mild to - dare I say - warm day, and it hit me. Perhaps this bone-chilling, mind-numbing cold does serve a purpose. I appreciated yesterday more than I can possibly express. Standing, waiting for the bus, reading The Da Vinci Code and listening to the sounds of the street, I was inexplicably giddy. Small, minute things like this made me severely happy. And it was all because I appreciated the degrees of heat more than I ever thought possible.

I read an article recently about how to combat loneliness. The suggestions are enlightening, especially with regards to your surroundings. The author, a Zen master, suggested to always be aware of what is around you, paying attention to the smallest details: the sound of your feet on the earth; the way it smells; the feeling of wind hitting your face around a corner; the movement of all natural and unnatural objects in your frame of reference.

Taking the bus is one of the best opportunities to do this. And I have. The author goes on to say that the minute you realize how connected you are to everything around you - from the garbage collectors to the ants scurrying down the alleyway - you can never be lonely. Sure, I guess loneliness will poke out her ugly head every once in a while, but true loneliness is not possible, according to this view.

If anything, we are so intricately woven into this fabric we call life that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be disconnected from it. You cannot float aimlessly in space: You belong to this gigantic and stunningly beautiful quilt.

At least, that's what this article was saying. I happen to agree.

Or, at least, I appreciate the opportunity to try and turn loneliness into something far more optimistic and helpful.


At 2:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Jason, I agree completely with our friend, the master of Zen. Every once in a while I touch something-anything really- and realize that I am touching, feeling, experiencing; that I am a body. It's quite extraordinary. I think that most joy in life is lost because we've forgotten how miraculous everything actually is.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home