September 21, 2014

peripheral vision


As I walk my heavily worn path home from the bus stop, the music lulls me into a strange state of heightened awareness.
Have these trees by this familiar road always been so three-dimensional? So tall, so wide, so majestic? A weak wind blows through the foliage and rocks the scenery slightly. Suddenly I become aware of the orange light bouncing on each surface it reaches. This spot, this space I pause in has never seemed as present as it is now. I have passed it daily for twelve years, and only now its true nature is revealed to me.

I lift my glance and a sky of navy blue explodes before me. Opaque clouds, static as ever, join with others and let through the thin glimmer of midnight stars. This moment in space and in time turns rounder, as if to surround me more completely. I am being hugged by this scenery. And indeed, even though it may seem so very real, it is a scenery and I am the spectator. It seems nearly impossible for those orange-lit leaves to be touched with a human finger.
I do not need to use my fingers to touch them. The sphere like shape of this moment eases distance and ables me to tickle the sleeping branches with my eyes. Oh how lush and fluffy and grand these trees are. Day by day, driven by, never admired. Framing a road toward home, and only now on the eve of departure, we are introduced.


I wrote down this little epiphany around a month a go very late at night. What it is trying to convey is the massive change of perspective I have experienced this past summer. Growing up and taking a leap of independence will change me for sure, however there have been more subtle, more surprising developments as of late. I have begun to see my surroundings clearly. To actually look at the wonderful faces of the people that pass me on the street, to hear the engines purring by, to sense the echoing silence of deserted streets at four am.
Not only am I taking a closer look at my environment, but my thoughts as well. It is as if I am only now able to follow the trails of my ideas and view them in retrospect. While this all might sound strange, haven't we all felt that moment? Pausing and dropping everything, just for a little while, and entering a state of heightened awareness, in which all that made you anxious and felt fuzzy before, was now pristinely clear.

I realize now that what Alduous Huxley called "the doors of perception" have opened for me in more ways than one this summer. I feel the strength and clarity in my peripheral vision in an entirely new, brilliant way.     



all images by ilkka matias kumpula

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