21 August 2009

A Quiet Moment

I have decided, after years of trying to capture the majesty and beauty of sunsets, that it can't be done. Well, not so much that it can't be done but that it's not supposed to be done. You're not supposed to be able to look at a picture and get the same peace, calm and tranquility as if you were standing atop a hill watching the great blazing sun surrender to the pale, piercing moon; as the world shifts from its vibrant, lively colors to the sharp, silvery hues of night. Sunsets, as with sunrises, would turn into something of cheap experiences not worth having if we could just flip through a book that had capture the same richness as if we had seen it with our own eyes.

There is also the matter of timing. Being at the right place at the right time to watch the sun or moon rise requires careful attention to their timing. It is a reminder that no matter how important you are, no matter how well you calendar, no matter how many alarms you have, the sun will set whether you are there or not. It is a reminder that no matter how small you feel, no matter how insignificant you see yourself, no matter how desperately you want more in life, the sun will rise whether you are there or not. It is one of only a few events that the time is completely arbitrary and completely out of our control.

Sunsets are not tied to a precise hour and minute but rather to a precise moment, a quiet moment, a solitary moment, a moment that we can let our souls revel in the beautiful and decisive timing of the universe. The moment is so unlike any other we have in our lives. That moment serves to remind us that we are both the grand and absent. We can see it, experience it and enjoy it but it would happen just the same without. Seeing the moment reminds us that God has definite precision though we are sometimes too small to see it. But it is there as surely as we watch as the sun lowers itself over the edge of the world.

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