The ambivalence of air, the expression of earth, the edge of heaven

The sun is setting on Valencia St and no one can tell if it’s summer or fall. The breeze holds with it an ambivalence, as if the changing of seasons is none of her concern, a silly construct developed by mere mortals to mark the passage of time (another of our silly constructs). The sun hangs golden on what seems like the other side of the tipping earth, the playful ridges of Twin Peaks. Fingerlings of light catapult themselves over the peaks, stream up and out from the horizon and settle like a fine mist on street signs, saturate the already colorful building facades, and wrap each passerby with fresh perspective.

It’s a glow that suggests the edge of heaven and I imagine that if I could just scale that last peak, overcome that last rise and embrace those ocean-cradeled sun beams, I would be united with complete perfection, utter bliss, the epic promise of paradise. Walking along Valencia on this evening that is neither summer nor fall, watching the open faces of these fellow earth-bound beings, I feel this promise walking alongside me, a silent reassurance that is as evident as it is mysterious.

I want to stop the runner, who looks up and smiles pleasently in passing. Maybe together we would uncover the mystery. The big secret that we’ve all come here to discover. Because we know something – consciously or unconsciously – we all know something and we hold it in our mouths like a cat with a canary. Something so true that we can’t find the words to talk about it. Something so big that the ground knows it too, and is so excited by it that she trembles to tell. She shakes to express this unspoken, evidential, beautiful reality that we’ve all chosen.

As I walk I can reach out and touch the choices of these strangers, the choices we’ve all made that arrived us at the edges of the earth. Somehow we’ve all found security in this place where the earth threatens to throw us off when the pressure is too great. But mostly, she just sits silently, holding us so that we may discover ourselves here, on the edge of heaven.

november 19, 2013


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