Thursday, January 2, 2014

Romancing the Day


New? As in new chance, new leaf, new slate?

New by popular agreement, which is pretty convincing. New number, new calendar, new big untrodden field of time. Four new seasons, twelve new months, including your birthday, the Oscars, the World Series, elections, appointments, events, experiences... 

Or not so new. No newer than any other day-in, day-out. Same old witchcraft, same familiar bad habits followed you across the ones column to 2014.

New by choice; why not try it on? If you're going to seize a day, seize January 1. Not to say that I seized it.  This first day is like a blind date. Hard to know if you should do special things with Jan, take a New Year's Walk around Fresh Pond; say hello again to Rock Meadow— or just be your same old flawed self.

I ended up with some of each. Slept late, spent the next several hours wandering through an indoor compost of domestic chores and laptop distractions defiantly undifferent from any old last-year day. 

Then broke that pattern to get in 20 minutes on the fitness club treadmill like every other guy trying to make good on his new year's resolution.

Gave Matt and his friend a ride to a movie, and on the way back, was beguiled by the new late light: pale pink twilight at the westerly side of Spy Pond. So I parked and walked over to bear witness for a few minutes.

The pond surface was frozen. The trees across from me left gray frozen reflections in the ice. That was sort of new, the idea of frozen reflections. On the nearer shore to my right, the trees semed to leave white reflections. The white was from the sky, the open part berneath the slate-gray clouds. 

All of this suggested a message  about nature and art—space and imagery. Nature making art? A composition of sky, frozen water, light, trees, and even people: I could see distant black stubs of ice skaters. Could nature be art? Like truth is beauty and beauty truth? Or is nature just the random, self-ruled organization of the original, sometimes creative, sometimes destructive, while art is once-removed, in the eye of the beholder? And is beholding different from seeing? Does it require wonder, which is what? Seeing but not judging? Holding the mind wide open?

Well, let it be a miracle in the old sense: not something defying logical explanation, but something to be wondered at: frozen tree reflections in evening light. A small-r revelation. 

A collaboration between what you see and how you see it. 

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