What do we miss in seeing? We can't take in every detail. Some things are going to be skipped over deliberately, others overlooked by chance. If you're able, please zoom in this photo I took the morning after a generous rain. There's a marvel of tiny stunning details. Imagine the ability to slow down and sink in.
It was early in the day when I took this photo, which is to explain the way the light works here. Spiders and other beings live in the lamb's ear patch. The droplets are caught on a section of web. I believe the source is guttation, or morning dew, and not the rain we had the day before.
The online etymology dictionary says that we get our word "thirst," both verb and noun, from the Proto-Indo-European root *ters- "to dry." We can trace our figurative sense of "vehement desire," as the dictionary puts it, to around the year 1200.
My father was dying of stomach and esophageal cancer and one of the hospice nurses told me that in her many years of working there she had never seen anything worse than the thirst experienced by a person with that kind of cancer.
Tantalus is a Greek figure whose crime was a terrible one and whose punishment left him with undying thirst and hunger.
Why do so many people carry plastic water bottles these days? What is it we're truly parched for? What will it mean to be quenched?
I keep three birdbaths outside our house. I fill them daily and scrub them often. The joy I feel watching crows and jays dip their beaks in and then tilt back their heads to swallow is their gift back to me. The pleasure I experience watching robins clamber in and bathe their dusty bodies is deep. The satisfaction I feel seeing the squirrels perch on the edge and lean forward to drink deeply is wonderful. From various signs I can tell that mammals, under cover of night, drink their fill too, while I dream. Toads live in my vegetable garden; watering, I imagine the water refreshing their soft bodies. I leave shallow dishes with colorful marbles and fresh water for the bees, butterflies, and other insects.
We are creatures of vehement desire. But are we wise enough to keep our water sources clean?
As a kid, I was terrified by certain interfaces. I refused to walk on the grids above subway lines; curbside sewer openings horrified me to the point of nausea. I'm told there was a time I was afraid of baths because of the drain. I vaguely remember this, and suspect that once I hung around long enough to be captivated by the vortex of escaping water, I was fine with the whole deal.
To take this photo I had to angle my phone just so and stand in such a way that my shadow didn't fall in the wrong place.
I love how the bricks form a sunflower-y sun; I love how a few of the bricks are broken but still hold their place; I love the logo that speaks so boldly; I love the little bits of biomass and flora that live in the cracks and spaces; I love the scrawl of paint. And I love the grid/maze pattern on the metal lid.
But whatever is happening beneath the lid is foreign to me and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
A nest is where you raise your young, so home is not a nest.
Home is not motion, either, because home is the place to go to at the end of the day to stop motion.
We keep at least some of our stuff at home; for instance clothing, toothbrush, and bed.
Some homes are sad. Some are angry.
An ideal home is a healthy, creative, and loving space.
There must be myriad versions of this ideal home.
I wish every version could be realized.
The gate drew me like a magnet.
Looking at the photos I took now reminds me how we are adept at putting chains around just about anything. And also how we are adept at finding ways past the chains. The whole of this particular activity – the chaining and the unchaining, as it were – takes place across time.
Call it Time. We're not great at taking into account Time. But when I look at the photos again, I can see how Time is clearly a factor there.
What if each of Time's manifestations is somehow unique?
What if it isn't?
The gate drew me like a magnet.