Lightly

How lightly do we touch the surface? I feel as though I could reach out and press my finger against the stillness of my own vision, and it would ripple out like a suddenly alive thing. Most days there's a thin boundary between me and the world. I get used to this, and think that's life. I can see, I can hear—what more is there? But every so often I brush against the edges of life and it shimmers and I think, "Oh... what's in there?" And if I am curious, I wonder what would happen if I touch it again. Maybe I put my toe in, and then my arm. And if I am brave, sometimes I hold my breath and dip my head inside, and if I am especially courageous I submerge myself and open my eyes and my ears, and what do my senses touch then?

In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of—moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I'm proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I'm grateful for you.” That's what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.

–Fred Rogers

Well, nothing but imperishable good stuff. What I thought was clear now seems blurry, what I thought was bright now seems dim—salty sweet watermelon salad, the first warm cool breeze of spring, the laughter of the old people and the young people, the dark fragrance of the garden dirt—I am pulled outside of myself and into the world itself and the world within me, to the only place where things are ever really real.

And yet it startles me, I don't know how long I can stay there. I can only hold my breath so long, and I fear losing touch with myself in the wild, animated world. And so I emerge, and touch lightly again, and dream of the depths.

Nature is more depth than surface, the colors are the expressions on the surface of this depth; they rise up from the roots of the world.

–Paul Cézanne