gwen learns

part 2: why you are the blue sky

Posted in gwen learns by gwenlearns on April 8, 2010

Dear John,

If I’m a cloud, you are the blue sky.  Because most the time I feel like an alien, and it feels good to be at home.  Though somehow I’ve chosen not to stay.

The first impression we get from you is that you’re simple.  We see one color and cast you as the passive, background character.  But as soon as we have you in a box, you show us a part of yourself that’s outside.  We’ve created horizons because we can’t handle infinity.

I’ve watched several storms from airplanes.  Each time, I remember looking up and then noticing how all the fury below had no effect on the sky above… how each storm seemed kind of small, kind of silly next to the vast stretch of silence above it.  Your color is calm and cool, and shade-shifts by fractions.  While the clouds and sun rush around you, you just watch, a careful observer, taking so much in, but only giving us blue.

Or at least that’s what we think at first.  When the sun and the clouds get out of the way, when they stop trying to make their mark on the world, the blue sky goes dark and deep and shows us the universe.  Or at least you tease us with some of it, enough little twinkly specks to make us realize you’re no longer the one-note, flat character in the movie of our lives.  And when we learn that those little specks of insight are actually larger ideas buried deep in the cosmos, we want to give you the starring role, take a full-fledged exploration of your brain “magic school bus“-style.  But of course science hasn’t advanced far enough for us to meet this desire.

I wonder what you have to offer the world.  I want to bound the sky, say “these are your parameters, this is where you fit”… but you’re not that simple.  I want to help you find that one thing that you’re made to do, but again, I can only see so far into the universe you’re keeping inside your head, so that journey’s mostly yours to take.

I didn’t think I could separate from you.  I belonged there… you calmed me, never rushed me, you let me be a cloud everyday of the week… you’re the only person that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a problem to be fixed.

But there’s something missing.  Something related to both our futures being so undefined.  Something telling me we want different things.  Something telling me I’m still not sure.  Something as undefinable as yourself, but still there.  I want to ignore it.  Mathematicians know that as sound and as elegant a theory seems to be, if one piece of information proves it untrue, they have to accept the whole thing as untrue.  So I feel forced into this, accepting a truth that hurts.

So this cloud is floating low, trying to keep her distance, trying to find her shape.  Far from home, but somehow in the right place.

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