Have you ever lain on a sandy beach staring up at the beautiful cloudless blue sky, feeling the sun light warm on your face - and thought about what it would be like if suddenly gravity vanished? How the earth's rotation would fling you into the heavens so fast that your eyeballs would sink into the back of your head, and as you sped into the universe your body would be suddenly surrounded by a never ending 'blueness'.
You know, the wonderful thing is, that if you lay there on the beach and let the blueness of the sky surround you (like standing in front of a Field Painting) and concentrate hard enough it really does happen. And when it really does happen you don't exactly achieve nirvana. In fact all you get is a horrible spinning inertia driven queasiness as the sandy beach spins around you like a .... like a revolving sandy beach.
I guess, in a way, it's the epiphany of what it would be like to not have gravity.
You remember epiphanies? When a sudden realisation of a particular truth comes whistling out of the air and whacks you in the back of the skull like a pea sized comet? And afterwards you are left with a zinging clear brained head and a realization that the universe is not quite the same as it was two seconds ago.
To be honest, as I've grown older I don't have ephiphanies any more - I have, what I call, gradiphanies.
Gradiphanies are kind of like slothful epiphanies that sneak up when you least expect it - like when you are flossing your grandmother's dentures, or measuring the length of your big toes to make sure they are the same size on either foot (they aren't). Or just hanging out outside the lolly shop waiting to be arrested.
Quite often these gradiphanies are epiphanies that you have had before - and have forgotten.
I have a particular one quite regularly - and I had it while I was jogging on the beach yesterday. (see pic at end of post).
Yesterday, as I came closer to the northern headland and it filled my vision, I had the particular peculiar feeling that, despite the sound of the waves and the feel of the wet wind on my shoulders that everything surrounding me wasn't quite real.
Well, to be perfectly specific, that it was myself who wasn't quite real. And that if I wasn't there, then it would make no difference to anything at all. I know it's cliched, that's it's a kind of tree-falling-in-the-forest-not-making-a-noise moment, but in fifty years time the rocks and the cliffs and the dunes and the ocean would still be there - but it was myself who would be gone. Really truly gone.
But that wasn't yesterday's gradiphany. Yesterday's gradiphany was that, in truth, that it was my presence that made the landscape real, that, in fact, when I was no longer there, when I was no longer observing it, all the light falling from the sky would vanish, the sounds of the breaking waves and the rustling sand dune vegetation would stop, and, finally, the wind would drop away to leave an awful and still one dimensional horror vacui.
Strange isn't it?
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a huge piece of rock lying at the base of one of those cliffs, watching each generation of beach goers growing old and feeble and becoming nothing but dust.
Still, it's better to have lived and died, than never have lived at all.
At least I think it is.
And to be perfectly honest, we don't get a choice really, do we?
Oh, this is the beach I jog at. :)
And if I can blame someone for this post I would like to blame my outrageously talented (both writer and visual artist) friend Linda Hensley who recently was kind enough to give enough to give me the Genuine Blogger Award for modesty, intelligence, good looks, charm and all round good old fashioned 'niceness' - not to mention brilliance and a penchant for telling lies about myself.
But seriously, thank you Linda :)
You can find Linda's blog exceptionale here. If you haven't seen her work or read her words then, when you pop in for a visit, you are in for a stupendous treat.