Dawn and Dusk

Few things are impossible, but describing a sunset is one of them. It’s like trying to take a selfie with a skyscraper or recreate a Beatles song using only a rock and a stick. You might as well teach a tiger to play checkers. You might as well give up before you start.

What would you say to somebody who had never seen the sun set over the ocean? “Well there were lots of yellows, and then the yellows turned to oranges, and then…”

Some people don’t know this, but our Earth is connected to a parallel universe of magic. We are only connected to this magical universe twice a day – ever day at Dusk and Dawn – during these two times we swing just close enough to this magical universe that a tiny bit of it bleeds through.

The change that takes place during sunset (or sunrise) is blatantly subtle. You know some wacky magic is happening right in front of your eyes, but it’s faster than a hummingbird and gone before you even grab. You can’t freeze it. To take a picture of a sunset is like drawing a rainbow with only one crayon. This is because a sunset dances, not walks, across the red carpet of time. A sunset moves as slowly and surely as your fingernails grow. It moves at the speed of a blooming rose, a climbing vine, a ripening fruit. It moves at the rate that a child grows. You know it’s happening, but you can’t pinpoint exactly where.

Another big problem is, in order to describe an ocean sunset you’d have to somehow re-create wind through the viewers hair. A chilly wind but slightly warm. A wind that isn’t cold but is somehow getting colder. A sunset is not all about color, it’s not all about light, it’s also the air density, the twist of the wind, the blue blanket of night being draped across the bedtime sky.

Sunsets just wouldn’t be romantic if they made sense from all angles. The day belongs to science, and the night belongs to rest, these things are well understood. But the dusk and the dawn, those are something else entirely. Something that reminds us of the truths we knew before we got born.

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Jungle Rain

bali rainforest

Deer by a river in an evergreen forest. That’s my spirit environment.

I’m dangerously far away from my element here in the jungle. I had to stare at those leafy green trees for a good five minutes before I realized they were sprouting bananas. Mangos, Coconuts, lizards on the walls, chickens in the streets. The weather is warm year round with only two season: rainy and less-rainy.

People have dark skin here. They don’t stop for the rain. True to island culture these people seem to exist in the present. No harsh winter lurks around the corner. The horizon is green. The rivers are heavy. When the wind whistles it sings the song of abundance.

I heard the author Hugh Howey say one time, “The characters in a Sci Fi world should never be surprised at their surroundings.”

Balinese people don’t stop to marvel at the miracle rain storms that happen once a day here. But I’ve lived in the land of forest fires and I’ve walked through the dry American West. My brain still can’t register the fact that the ocean I’m seeing is the Indian Ocean. And if I’m walking through the woods and an Orangutan reaches down and gives me a noogie, I don’t know, maybe that kind of thing happens all the time.