Tuesday, February 7, 2006

In search of nothing.

There are a couple of things that anyone who listens to me for very long will come to see that I am fascinated with. Those are the passage of time, and nothingness. I am a scrapbooker, a photographer, and a journaler and through these venues, I try desparately to capture time. I expend a great amount of time and energy trying to stop time. Sounds silly, I know. It's not just stopping time that I am preoccupied with, but there very idea of time swirling past...well, sometimes it almost seems like I can see it passing by.

I once caught a scene in "Star Trek; Insurrection" that relates. Capt. Picard is with a woman named Anij and she asks, "...have you ever experienced a perfect
moment in time? ,,, When time seemed to stop and you could almost live in that moment..." She later shows him what she meant by slowing time down so that he could see each beat of a hummingbirds wings. I can't say how this pertains to what I am saying other than to say...I UNDERSTAND what she meant. Seems funny, but a defining moment in my life really was in a Star Trek movie. LOL

Another scene that defines this for me is from a book called "A Lantern in Her Hand" by Bess Streeter Aldrich. It's an old book, you'll probably never find it or hear of it. In fact my copy says the copywrite is from 1956 and it was in it's fourth printing in 1966. The main character, Abbie McKenzie Deal is followed through her life as she grew up in the late 1800's on the plains of the central US. She is often swept up into some drama that leaves her feeling that time is rushing past her and she wishes for it to stop. The first time is when the Civil war begins and the boys in the Iowa community she lives in all heed the call of the Union Army. "She had a queer sensation of wind blowing past her-of wind that she could not stop. She stood in front of the Seth Thomas clock on the shelf in her mother's cabin and watched the hands moving above the little brown church painted on the glass of the door. Oh, stop Time for a few minutes until we can do something about the war." Each time a momentus event in her life was about to take place she could feel that "queer sensation of being swept by a wind she could not stop, by time she could not stay." Once again...I UNDERSTAND this.

How else can I describe it. I just relate to those scenes and no amount of trying to define it will render it any clearer. It only becomes more muddled in my mind when I try to analyze it. There are just times when I feel myself seeing what I see as though I am watching myself watching it all. I am watching the action like it is a movie rather than something that is actually occuring. At times it seems like it is even in slow motion. Then I know that this is a moment I will remember forever.

Then there is the nothingness. Mom tells me I should paint what I envision in my head, but I say, who's gonna want to see a picture of vast, wide-open nothingness? If you have my blog on the Sound of Silence
, then you know what kind of obsession this carries for me. But it is more than just no sound that holds my fascination. NO PEOPLE is probably what intrigues me most. Of all the things I day dream or fantasize about, the setting is most often in a secluded, remote, even virgin, place.
I have envisioned myself standing in a wheat field with no road, wires, planes, trains, cars, people, even trees as far as the eye can see. Just the vastness of the prairie with the wind-blown grasses and the wide-open sky. Then there is the setting of being on a sandy motu, far away from it's main island. No trees, no people, just shallow, crystal, blue water with sand that peeks out here and there, and azure blue sky from horizon to horizon. Also I have imagined crossing the surface of a massive glacier with it's mirror surface reflecting the sky till I become dizzy from the illusion of being suspended in air.

(Of course, in my mind, I also have a cabin in a mountain meadow with the majestic snow-covered peaks reflecting on a glassy lake, surrounded by pristine forests of hemlock and pine.

We won't mention the Fabio-like "whatever" native that somehow makes it into these scenes every so often, lest the husband gets jealous.)

Seriously, I can imagine myself alone in each of these scenes with only the prescence of the Creator felt, and His voice gently carried on the breeze. Beside the fact that I have a vivid imagination, I have at times either dreamed of, or felt immersed in a vision of these places. I don't know if I read about such places or saw an image of something that spurred these imaginings. No I know there weren't pictures that spawned them becuase with each one I remember a time when I ran across a picture of a something that reminded me of my imaginings and felt an immediate obsession with finding out where it was because I had thought I had ONLY imagined it and that it couldn't possibly be real. Well, Nebraska, Tahiti, and Antartica (oh and Mt. Hood in Oregon) are all those places. Now that I have a name for them, I want to SEE them. Just like I wanted to go back to Cades Cove to hear silence again, I am driven to SEE these places. Although I have to concede that Antartica may be a stretch.
Oh, and in case you read the post on Sound of Silence, we did go to Cades Cove. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and just slightly cold. Unfortunately, that meant that there were more people out and more animals out. Silence was not to be found. I was disapointed. I think that disappointed is too mild a word. I am afraid that I may have lost my one chance to experience silence fully, by being too rushed. I will try again next year, and the year after...the desire to experience it again is undaunted in me.

Yep, maybe I really am obsessed with nothingness.