As I sit here in Germany thinking about what to do next, waiting for a vessel to carry me across the sky once more, I ponder the beauty I have already seen. The beautiful coast of Scotland, the vast North Sea, the mainland of Europe. I flew right over Amsterdam and fifty miles away from my first destination we began to descend. As we came out of the cloudy cover I saw something that was more then beautiful, it looked like it was taken out of a movie put into my eyes. The rolling hills, the beautiful wind farm, the elegant and precise rows of field after field. They were gorgeous. The girl next to me Julia Ka, from Germany was holding her breath and closing her eyes, she was afraid of flying. For me this was the exhilarating part, the part that would make or break the deal, the landing. Looking out the windows I watched as the pilot reversed the engines and, having just rained, the tarmac spit up its excess water as the blow of the forced air hit it and was now being pushed to slow us down. A sigh of relief came from Julia and she said, (thank you God, or Gott sei dang) for a safe landing.

Its overwhelming sometimes to see such elegance and beauty all within the same substance. Doing some research for my fall break I stumbled upon a peculiar symptom of this action, its called Stendhal Syndrome or The Florence Syndrome, it is the reaction or more so condition that occurs when one it overwhelmed emotionally and psychologically by the sight of beauty and is driven to silence and reverence. Many documented cases have occurred in history. I might have experienced a couple occurrences myself, being almost to the point of tears when coming face to face with one of my favorite Renaissance paintings. The beauty, the elegance, the magnificent skill and care that can be seen, it overwhelms.

In the same sense of being overwhelmed by beauty and something that seems so unattainable, where does God fit in? As the song November Rain plays on the radio (in Germany), I am reminded of the way music can also elicit this type of response, I have had it happen many a time to me. So many times in fact that sometimes I lose the sense of the magnitude of just how intense the experience really is. To be taken into a place that some rarely enter, a land of reverence and excellence, becomes more then a seperatate experience itself, it turns into something that feels normal. When we accept the sacred or elevated as the normative, we let its “specialness” fade.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes we become numb, we give into apathy and try to cruise through each and every experience. This world has become a source of experiences in a bag. Nothing is speical unless it costs an arm and a lung. There is nothing elegant that cant be explained, and theres nothing true that cant be turned to lies. So overloaded with experiences and entertainment coming from all directions, we must find a way to lessen its impact and resonance with ourselves that we dampen and lower the way that something can get to us, so raw and so intimate can one lesson be that we must decrease the exposure of ourselves to not be ‘overwhelmed’. We have lost a love for being overwhelmed, for being taken by surprise. We have accepted the mundane and ordinary as parts of life and take them in stride. Was there ever a moment that we ever wanted to just run in the rain, to dance or shout in a great big hall, just so that we could hear our echo. A blond hair blue-eyed German tot is standing in the middle of the terminal shouting, he is listening to his echo, so fascinated by the simple sound of himself after he has yelled. When did we lose this? When did we become so hollow and so shallow that even the beauty of the rain falling and giving the world life becomes a nuisance?

I think its time not to find an inner child, as millions of people waster their life trying to relive their childhood. It not time to find yourself, you were never lost. It not time to let go and let live, to let go is to not care. It is not time to wake up, you were never dreaming. It is time however to sense, to learn, to take in, and give out. To live, not with just a purpose, but to live with a meanings beyond yourself. We find it so easy to block out the beautiful. Why? Because we never loved it in the first place. We are taught that beauty can only be seen, false. We are taught that love can only be found, false. All these things that we think are true, that we think can help us make sense of this tiny portion of time that is our life, they lead us in the wrong way. I’m not saying that I have the answer, but I’m saying I’ve found a way to it.

Theres only one way that I have found to answer this question that i have been asking myself since I can remember myself having semi-rationale thought… what am I doing? The time to leave has come and I yet have not answered my simple question, I think it will take much more time to find that for answer for myself.


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