Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Practice: For once, watch the sun rise. And be outside when it happens. Perhaps that will mean sleeping outside; I recommend this, because you will feel the cool dampness of the night evaporate off your body as the light grows warmer.

This is what will happen: at first, silence. There is a deep, vast, quivering silence that envelops the first moments of dawn, as if the world is holding its breath, waiting for the sun. The sky and the earth and everything around will be slightly monochromatic, in varying shades and tints of blue and gray. Everything will seem gently luminous. As the light increases, the dew on the grass around you will release cool fragrances.

And now wait. There is nothing like this waiting. The world grows lighter, the grass more fragrant, and the dew slowly dissipates into the wetness of the air. There is nothing but you, waiting in the quietness of the globe.

And then BAM: the first sliver of sun breaks over the horizon. It is always more intensely orange than you could ever have imagined. It is like something dangerous and red-hot, fresh from a blacksmith's fire. And you'll feel it. The heat will shoot straight for the marrow in your bones.

As it lifts above the soil, you'll have to squint and then avert your eyes. Strange that something so omnipresent and taken-for-granted should be something so powerful that we can't even look at it.

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