WHAT AM I
WHAT WAS I
WHAT CAN I BE
Do you ever feel like the sky is transforming into hues of pink and gold just for you? Or like the ominous grey clouds are heavy with rain just because you’re already melancholy inside? Sometimes I feel as though I’m the only one noticing these things. Every time I’m driving at sunset or sunrise I am captivated by the ever-changing sky and take every opportunity at red lights and stop signs to take in the majestic blue hues, white clouds, and beams of yellow and golden light that cascade all around. I often notice too how absorbed everyone else seems to be in their own little bubble. Eyes set forward, faces expressionless, and I sit there marveling at the world.
I’ve been reading “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo and thinking about the philosophy behind comparison. In my printmaking class we were talking about being comfortable on focusing on what you are doing rather than comparing your work to somebody else’s. I often think of the classic example that marigolds and roses don’t look at each other and wish they looked like the other, they’re both beautiful in their own right. Nepo writes that “a flower in its excellence does not yearn to be a fish, and a fish in its unmanaged elegance does not long to be a tiger” and essentially we should desire nothing beyond wanting to exist exactly as we are.
The sky paints pictures more beautiful than I ever could. Yet I don’t find that discouraging. What the sky can create is different than what I can create. We have different tools and powers. So there’s never really any reason to compare yourself with anything or anyone but yourself because only you are capable of your own vision and creativity.
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Aphelion. It’s a word for the point in orbit when a planet, a comet, or an asteroid is furthest from the sun. I did a collage series called “Cosmic Wonders” a few months back and used the word “Aphelion” as the title of one of my pieces. At the time, aphelion meant to me simply what it does scientifically. But -- upon reflection this past week, I came to the realization that the word has a much broader and more applicable definition to me philosophically.
If I am like a planet, a comet, an asteroid; than my sun is my personal goals, dreams, and future. Right now I feel like I’m nearing that furthest point in my orbit. As I approach I sense the coolness in the distance between who I am presently and who I want to be.