Tuesday, January 24, 2012


You were always a mountain-and-sea-and-forest person. You could never understand people who loved the plains, flat featureless landscapes. But standing at the train door one morning and later another day, at sunset, you are suddenly seized by the beauty of it all, you are taken aback by your reaction to it. A flat plain leaves you with so much more sky.  The most prominent feature here is the sky, it dominates the landscape, and you can see it all, the entire inverted bowl, right to its very edges, a perfect half-circle shape, unbroken by mountains.  You feel you’ve never noticed the sky this way before, you passionate sky-watcher, you feel you’re really seeing it in its entire majesty for the first time.

On the return journey, you watch the sun set right at the horizon, leaving different layers of color above it, unbroken striations, from end to end, each one merging into the other, seamlessly, orange, yellow, deep blue, darkness. You go to the other door and watch the moon rise from the other horizon, right from its moment of birth at the thin line between earth and sky, when it is at is fullest.  To think that the people who live here, see all this, every single day!

A huge sense of space. Your chest expands. You feel freer. You breathe deep, you feel lighter. You have finally understood the love of the plains. Another day, on a long drive, you climb up into the mountains and pass through thick forests – and you feel suffocated, surrounded. When you return to the plains the next day, you breathe easy again.

This is all so startlingly strange, you feel unsettled. Who is this new person in you whom you don't know? Why this transformation? What else is coming your way? Who are you becoming?

Or is it just that you have reached a stage in life where you need more space?

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