Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God's Cocktail

I had a conversation yesterday where somebody told me they had spent a length of time staring at the small lake near our home because at that time they felt like that was all they were capable of doing. This person told me this in a way that seemed to me they wondered if perhaps this was somewhat odd...just staring at the water. My natural reaction was it seemed perfectly normal to me...for instance I have spent hours just watching the waves crash on a beach, deciphering the different patterns of the streaming water and how the creamy foam makes the rocks look like some sort of extra-terrestrial dessert item.

Well, today, as I was in my kitchen making tacos (always a happy time in my home), I found myself staring out the window at my pool. The way the sun shines through the water creates a sort of refracted prism effect, with the light bouncing all along the bottom...sort of like staring at a diamond. It was almost mesmerizing. Also, I spend a lot of time in my car driving back and forth between Sacramento and the SF Bay Area. Every day I drive across the Carquinez Bridge. When I do, I stare at the bay, and the little finger of it the bridge spans. I find my mind wandering and I think about how weird water is. It's this viscous substance made of fused gas. It covers things like a blanket, but can roll off with the minute pull of the moon. It's not solid, but its not ethereal either. It shapes things through erosion, and it dominates the face of the Earth. It is teeming with life. In fact, not only is it where life evolved from, but the very existence of liquid water seems to be the key ingredient to life as we know it...the universal additive. So I started thinking about the fascination with water. It seems pretty universal I think. Look at all the art devoted to seascapes, lakes, streams, rivers, etc. Artists like Turner, Monet, and Degas, just to name a few right off of the top of my head, devoted a significant portion of their portfolios to it. Countless landscapes are decorated by fountains and reflecting pools. Most of the early civilized cities were on the banks of lakes, oceans, and rivers. Most folks dream of a home with a view of some sort of body of water. And to me, it makes perfect sense.

Why wouldn't we be fascinated, wistfully attracted to, and calmed by the elixir of the Universe? It's kind of like God's cocktail. It uplifts and soothes all. Life springs from it, we're cleansed by it, nourished by it, invigorated by it, calmed by it, healed by it, and let's face it...it's gorgeous. The way it flows is almost reminiscent of the curve of a seductive goddess. Even in its most tempestuous state, it still has a dark beauty to it. In fact, I would say a primordial attraction to water is one of the basic tenants of human existence.

Anyway, this is the sort of thing that bounces through my head at the oddest times, like say, when frying tortillas for my tacos. Still, perhaps it explains why Im so convinced I will eventually end up with a small place on the coast somewhere. It's my innate, primordial instinct...well, that and the love of the taco.

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