My legs push back against the precipice. My arms wearily hold the instrument as my eye peeps through the lens and my finger trembles to press the button on feelings exceeding a single frame. I could not survive out here. I am but a wanderer passing along this winding, perilous path. Blinking and glimpsing at something too powerful and raw to live beside with any of the comforts required to establish a productive way of life. Yet this is their home, their pattern, their habit, and their comfort. These dream-like forms, others simply call cormorants, gird the steepest drop back into the crashing swirl of sleep. Above the unfathomable chasm and below the infinite dome, a brood scratches its way along these stone faces of bulky severity. What wild ideas am I witnessing that can claw into such an impregnable form? Am I to believe that these are just cormorants stringing along the rocks whose random patterns of erosion drain into this dark sea? Just another iteration of genetic code replicating itself in this random display of meaninglessness? While they are scaling the deepest interior of my dreams and emerging as the shadowy forms from the deepest slumber? Even when this sublime scene awakens with a fervor of gargoyles ascending a cathedral in my mind’s eye?
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue
Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be
But for such faith with nature reconciled;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise and great, and good
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.
From Mont Blanc by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Once there was a hermit who lived in a giant shell on a tiny island. And each room in her shell was connected by a central spiral staircase. As she got older, her shell grew taller with more rooms being added. And she always stayed in the newest room at the very top where she made herself a new bed out of kelp and a table and chair made from pebbles. Whenever there was a storm and the sea covered the island, her shell stayed put because it was so heavy after all those years of rooms being built. And when she got older than anyone else alive, her newest room in the shell overlooked the clouds that drifted over the sea. And if she wasn’t in her new room, she was visiting the other rooms where she felt as old or as young as when the room was built. On her last day, she spiraled out of her shell for the first time since she began building it and sat on the beach to feel the water on her toes and looked at the sunlight bouncing off the water until her last nightfall. And she laid back in the sand and saw millions of shells twinkling in the night sky before she went to sleep beside her own sparkling shell with the final thought of the greater part she had played by doing what had come so naturally.
Here’s an image I made while listening to Mediate by INXS to keep the fire burning and stay positive!
Mediate by INXS
Hallucinate Desegregate Mediate Alleviate Try not to hateLove your mate Don’t suffocate on your own hate Designate your love as fate A one world state As human freight The number eight A white black state A gentle trait The broken crate A heavy weight Or just too late Like pretty Kate has sex ornate Now devastate Appreciate Depreciate Fabricate Emulate The truth dilate Special date The animal we ate Guilt debate The edge serrate A better rate The youth irate DeliberateFascinate Deviate Reinstate Liberate To moderate Recreate Or detonate Annihiliate Atomic fateMediate Clear the state Activate Now radiate A perfect state Food on plate Gravitate The Earth’s own weight Designate your love as fate At ninety-eight we all rotateHallucinate Desegregate Mediate Alleviate Try not to hateLove your mate Don’t suffocate on your own hate Designate your love as fate A one world state As human freight The number eight A white black state A gentle trait The broken crateA heavy weight Or just too late Like pretty Kate has sex ornateNow devastate Appreciate Depreciate Fabricate Emulate The truth dilate Special date The animals we ate Guilt debate The edge serrate A better rate The youth irate Deliberate Fascinate Deviate Reinstate
These heavy cathedrals of stone fall before me whenever I come to witness the blues melt into the golden shores and the ink spill across the molten sea. This hungry mouth tilts to swallow its treasure whole. I hear the random slap of waves below and watch these muscular cliffs tug and yank at this opulent rug. I stand where the scene slips away and know that all I could ever do was get close to what is far beyond me.
We see miniature trees everyday off in the distance. Such a common site gets easily dismissed. But a photograph can cross back over that threshold and aside from any tilt-shifting emphasize this feeling of the miniature.
I think this taps into feelings I have for what is smaller than me. And the tendency to see small things as cute. Protective feelings arise over these baby trees. It’s the deep satisfaction that can come from caring for an aquarium or crafting a train diorama.
Whenever we peer into a microcosm, the observations run simultaneously with the realization that we just might be in a microcosm to a perspective beyond our awareness. Perhaps this is at the base of the religious belief in a higher power. I often wonder about beliefs as side effects or reactions to such phenomenological occurrences as an optical effect.
Would we take better care of things if we saw them as miniature? Maybe it’s time to walk around looking backwards through binoculars at things that are difficult to have compassion for, in order to help out.
Next time a conflict arises, should I just miniaturize the source and care for it instead of miniaturizing myself into an unnecessary struggle? Just like a Buddhist monk might miniaturize desire itself in order to miniaturize suffering?
Or maybe in the future, AI will read our emotional responses and adjust them to a calmer state for better decision-making by employing this feeling of the miniature, while controlling our evaluations so that the decisions made are best for its purposes. The same kind of therapeutic brainwashing seen in cults only turned into an algorithm, for our own benefit of course.