Friday, August 21, 2015

champagne ceilings

Color is one of the most baffling experiences in the human existence, because it's a physical reality we perceive; it is a fact, outside of my control.
But color is something ineffable. Its presence is enhanced, or perhaps introduced, by the names we do or do not have for them.
Our language occludes certain colors from our sight.
Not really. We still see the color; that is the light waves are still absorbed and reflected by the object, and the same wavelengths of light hit our retinas.
But without the language to understand these waves of light, we do not know what we are seeing.
Our brains have not been equipped with the proper language to interpret the vision.

Ancients looked up at the sky and saw more of the shape than the color.
They saw the curve of the horizon, and the clouds being ushered along by the wind.
But they didn't name the color of the sky blue.
Which, if you've seen a sky during a thunderstorm, or a sunset, or when it's just a mushy umbrella of white fluff over your head, then it almost seems to be a stretch for the sky to actually be blue.

But last night at twilight, I saw, peeking out of the rolling clouds of summer rainy days, a small patch of unadulterated indigo, so radiant it burned your eyes, so lush it seemed indulgent to gaze upon it.
I set my course towards this pasture of cerulean. I was almost tempted to reach out and touch it. It was so vivid, and so tantalizingly imminent.
I had never seen a sky so saturated with blue. A blue deeper and truer than the ocean, or Lake Harriet, or any body of earthly water the sky generally doth reflect.
(I was going to write "does reflect," like a normal human. But upon further reflection, I am strongly convicted the sky never "does" anything. In order to reflect this ontological difference between animal agency and the serene inaction of the sky, I will only write the "the sky doth." Or if I'm feeling really Chacuer-y "the skye dothe.")

I was shocked by the blue: are there endless shades of sky that I have yet to see? I imagined that I would never look at the sky the same way again, knowing that the atmosphere can achieve that height of color.
It was as if I had listened to a ballad composed by a friend. When hearing the music a friend writes--really good music--I am in awe that words and melodies such as these live inside this person I know so dearly. And I think I know the topography of their souls, yet there lies a whole landscape hidden behind their eyes that I never get to see. The music lifts the veil, and reveals this hidden universe inside their hearts. And you fall more in love with them, with the secret world they hide inside of them. I think I fell more in love with the sky last night.
The sky has an entire universe--quarks and quasars--shifting and swirling beyond its tranquil grandeur.
This gossamer veil of color burned like a blue flame. Behind it lay, I knew, eternity.

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