Friday, September 28, 2012


Not phenomenology in the strict philosophical sense, but certainly under the influence.

Four experiences in the last 24 hours, each in its own way, made me think about what and how and why I experience things the way I do.

1. Minutes before the sun rose into the notch in the mountains to the east, I looked down at the trail Blue and I were following and saw orange. Neon, chemical orange. Small rocks and compacted places in the dirt were tinged orange, if I looked directly at them. The color disappeared if I broadened my focus. But if I looked closely, the next rock or flat place took on that orange hue. Were my eyes going bad? I wondered. Was it because the sun, which was already shining on the trees above us, was just about to shine on us as well? Whatever the cause, the effect of seeing differently concerned and intrigued me.

2. I drove Lyn to the endoscopy clinic for her colonoscopy. I've done endos on my mountainbike and use colons often in my writing and Alex once suggested that my reluctance to have a colonoscopy might be relieved if I asked for a semi-colonoscopy—but still the two words strike me as particularly ugly. The previous day and night had been a nightmare for Lyn—forced liquids and loose bowels preparing for this moment. We got out of the car, entered the building, took the elevator to the third floor, entered the clinic, and I waited while Lyn checked in. A TV hanging from the ceiling in one corner of the room blared—visually blared as well as aurally blared—"The Price is Right!" It was a group of especially obnoxious aliens cavorting (carefully, according to the rules) on the screen, hugging and touching and choosing boxes with money folded into their hands. Rather than succumbing to nausea, I turned to watch the hallway outside the door. A man passed in green scrubs. A heavy man in t-shirt and long shorts (there's a paradox) and sandals lumbered (a good, if overused word) past. A tiny lady with white hair was followed by a young woman in green scrubs. There were others, all of them real—no whiff of alien origen. But every one of them, medical personel as well as patients, was walking awkwardly, even painfully, as if afflicted with with colorectal problems. Person after person. Legs farther apart than usual. A slight forward bend. Heels up, walking on the balls of their feet. I am not making this up. At least I think I wan't making this up.

3. Last night, darkness gathered around me except for the reading light shining on D'Arcy McNickle's Wind From An Enemy Sky (Native Americans and barbed wire), my glass half empty, I looked at the long window next to the door and saw a framed still life. It was beautiful, striking, intriguing—haunting in the way surprises sometimes haunt. The drink had something to do with the experience, as did the darkness and light. The delight came with seeing differently, I think. The reflection made me . . . reflective.

4. This morning shortly before 6 I looked out a window to the west and was surprised to see the nearly full moon, red with a bit of haze in the air, poised just above the mountains. I stood and watched it slip behind the horizon—and was happy to have witnessed that. When surprised by something in nature, a red maple leaf, for instance, in a setting of yellows and browns, or in this case the disappearing big fat red moon, I experience pleasure. Why is that?


* said...

this uppermost leaf is amazing

Scott Abbott said...

it's beautiful just as an object.

then my mind goes to work:

1. a good botanist could explain the phenomon


2. it's an image of the virgin mary!