It was a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. This came into direct opposition o the few hours that preceded when tornadoes whipped around the state leaving dozens homeless and thousands without power. I was walking in the large grassy backyard at my mother’s house. My dog ran back and forth enjoying the sun about as much as me. I recently got a Canon t3 and was using it feverously. I looked all around and saw everything as a potential subject. I found piles of leaves that were densely packed against the fence as wind held them there.
Sticks jammed into the ground during the storm.
Rain dripping from evergreen needles.
Sofie looking into the distance as the sun shined through her calico fur.
My mother as she took no notice to me and my antics.
All these things surrounded me and I was in awe of it all. These beautiful moments that fade with the click of a shutter. It was all so beautiful but never meant for me. It just happened. It made me think about a person I work with who could not understand me. He needs concrete and data to understand things. To understand life, he needs directions. He could not understand the way I am and I believe he judges me for that. He does not take me a sincere because I refuse to see the world in one solid plane.
He asked me once why I was so calm about a situation. Why was I not freaking out? How am I able to travel alone and so. I looked at him and I said, “I don’t know. I just am.”
I wonder about that exchange some times. Why do I look at things and see them as they are. My interpretation of the event is met with the ideology of, “This is how it is. How do I adapt?”
This idea of living life came to me that day while taking pictures. I suppose it began a few years ago when I read this book. It was insanely disgusting and I had to pretend like I had not read it but there was one line that makes me think about life and all that comes with it every time I bring the verbiage to the forefront of my thoughts.
“Like the rain, I was born to fall.”
This ominous passage is more grave in the story than what I intend it for. For me, it reminds me of life. Oscar Wild once said that youth is wasted on the young but I believe that is false based on the simple fact that our bodies are perpetually falling. Youth is a state of my and we are never young. From the moment of conception, or whenever you believe a being is created, we begin to deteriorate. We grow up and hit puberty but we are aging. We are all in a different stage of the fall but still falling.
I think there is some sort of tragic beauty in that thought. Once you realize that you are falling and always have been, it becomes easy to accept everything.
What is it that makes it easier for a calculated person to handle life? Is it the routine? The belief that stability is tangible?
Is it the idea that life is something you build? These bricks you lay with mortar slathered around them. Mortar made of reason and caution. Knowledge of peripheral concepts. Knowledge of the fringe of what it means to be.
I talk a lot about life because it means a lot to me. I always thought the way I think is how everyone does but it is not. I love to question things. I love the idea of something new and foreign.
I look at that and I look away because it is something so scary to think about. To believe that I know everything or that I have life figured out is an insult to myself.
If a child says that they are as tall as they ever will be at age 5 and never measures themselves gain is missing out on all that growth until they realize that they are taller than they thought. Then there is the surprise that comes with this acceptance of the new you.
Us. The Immortal Jellyfish drifting somewhere far away from the certainty of land. We reinvent ourselves because we go back to our youth. That feeling of being younger but never attaining that because it was never meant to be attained.
That day I was taking pictures. I saw something extraordinary. Things happen. They are either about to happen, happening or happen.
One person may see the wind blowing a road sign, the next may see the road sign blow down, and the last may see the blown down sign. Rarely do we see all three. Those events, much like seeing people reunite in an airport after a long time and their tearful reunion, were never meant for us. Somehow, we see it in its entirety and we know it is special.
I looked up at a branch and I watched a leaf break away from the branch as the wind blew furiously. All other leaves fell directly to the ground and tumbled along as the wind blew, this one was different. It slowly drifted and turned, flipping over and over as I saw vibrant orange and earth brown flickering at me. It hovered and dropped quickly then rose again as it continued the show. I watched in fascination.
Finally, the show stopped. The leaf came to rest on the ground and was blown along with all the other leaves but for a moment it danced in the air despite the wind or maybe because of it.
Just like the leaves, we too dance in the winds of change. That is what he does not see. He does not see the wind for something that can be used to dance and to sing praises of. He does not see that the wind is meant for us. The fall is natural and the winds are constant but fluctuate.
When you realize that you cannot get back to the branch, you begin to understand the fall and how beautiful it can be.