Monday, August 1, 2011

Big Sur, Art and the Cosmos!

I’m not really much of a nature guy, by nature. I like my creature comforts, my HDTV, my air and large I’m comfortable not forcing myself to confront the wild very often. After all, it’s called “the wild” for a reason, right?

But every now and then I take advantage of opportunities to experience the awesomeness of nature. This past weekend was one of those occasions. I was in Monterey, California, and, having some free time and a new camera I wanted to try out, I spent several hours on Saturday driving down the Coast highway through Big Sur and back. I’ve been there before, seen it before, but every time I make that drive I am awed by the majesty and sheer creative power of nature.

I know that many people see something like these incredible cliffs as the hand of God in action, but I’m awed knowing that they were created bit by tiny bit over a vast, nearly unfathomable span of time by the powerfully artistic hand of nature. And I marvel that we, as humans, have evolved over vast millenia ourselves to a point where we can see, process and appreciate something like a Grand Canyon or a Yosemite Valley or a Big Sur as the things of beauty that they are.

Driving back I had my ipod playing random music through my car’s sound system when I had one of those serendipitous moments that the randomness of life provides. Tim Minchin’s “Not Perfect” played just as I was driving along one of the more scenic stretches of my journey, and somehow these lyrics seemed to fit the moment perfectly:

This is my Earth
And I live in it
It’s one third dirt
And two thirds water
And it rotates and revolves through space
At rather an impressive pace
And never even messes up my hair
And here’s the really weird thing
The force created by its spin
Is the force that stops the chaos flooding in
This is my Earth, and it’s fine
It’s where I spend the vast majority of my time
It’s not perfect, but it’s mine

This then reminded me of another impressive bit of art - a poem written by a young man named Victor Harris. He shared it as part of a art in skepticism panel at the recent SkeptiCAL conference in Berkeley, and I found it really inspiring.  Victor posts his poetry at the Mad Art Lab website, and you can find this particular poem, entitled Weird Science, here.  I particularly like this section:

...I am left breathless by the understanding
that my continuance is an example
of the improbable versus the impossible,
and despite what some might think
this gives my life more meaning,
makes each day more precious,
brings into sharp contrast
the importance of each interaction,
lends weight and reality
to the precious actuality
of each person I allow into my life...

I try to remind myself to feel that way - to remember that we’re just tiny passengers on a vast cosmic vessel that has been churning and moving and evolving and creating great art for longer than I can begin to fathom. And that’s truly awesome!

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Nice! I've shared your work enough, thanks for sharing mine! And thanks for the new blog to peruse!