I love the ocean, because you can see everything in one direction until the curve of the earth slips the water underneath your sight. Since a child, I have thought about the beach as my sanctuary. It doesn't even have to be a sunny day, any weather will do.(more) Sun at the beach just means play time; I am not always in the mood to play.
Even though I really do love those sunny beach days, what I love even more are the overcast days. The days where you need to put on a light sweater because the ocean spray has started to bite just a little bit too hard. The clouds cover the sun, and the beach seems less welcoming and more mysterious. You look down the shoreline and you can't see for more than a mile because the fog is crowding the air.
I like those days because the wind and sea-spray make you feel alive in a way that gets your brain racing deep thoughts. Life, death, and the mysteries of the universe seem much less important when you're at the beach, so why not give it a little thought? (less)
Galileo looked up into the sky, mesmerized by the pinholes in the black fabric of the cosmos. As a child he dreamed of climbing the mountains and being able to touch the sky, wondering what it felt like to catch the sun and moon in his hands like ripe(more) fruit falling from a tree. He thought about the sky at night, and wondered how far he would need to climb to crawl through the pinholes in the black sky where light from the domain of the god seeped out into the human's Earth.
One day Galileo decided to look at the ground, and saw the bugs and the plants and wondered if they too revered gods as men do. He watched a silkworm seemingly slip down in midair, then a droplet of dew slid down the silk. Galileo's focus changed on the droplet and he noticed how the world inside the droplet shifted as he moved about, warping and distorting. He looked close, and the thread of silk seemed larger than it appeared. Galileo had an idea!
Over many years Galileo had perfected his design for a telescope, and decided to look into the sky he had been in awe of as a child. Through the lens he saw countless more pinholes in the sky, and was shocked to see some even move through the sky! He looked at the moon, and struggled to keep it in view. There was so much more than he had ever imagined, his mind was opened to new possibilities. He wrote in his journal, "God almighty, you have fooled humankind with your elaborate designs. I vow to learn of it, to see the furthest sights until nothing of your world is beyond my view."
The city was a foul place. Smoke rose in curling spirals from the chimneys and mixed with the low-hanging clouds in the air. The streets were a mixture of cracked cobblestones, mud, and debris--fruit peels, human and animal excrement, old scraps of fabric. The city smelled like urine and(more) stale alcohol, like mud and heavy perfumes, like loneliness.
Mother washed clothes for a living, though it wasn't much of one. She scrubbed the peacock-blue and emerald-green gowns of the upper class while I fetched hot water from the pot on the fire for her. Over and over. Smoke and steam intermingled, turning the washroom gray and cloudy. Mother always was sweating. My feet had worn a smooth path in the stones from the fire to the washbasin.
I was one of the young boys, eleven years old, who had nothing better to do than pickpocket the upper-class, hitch rides on the backs of carriages, and run through the streets in grubby gangs. My friends and I threw stones at windows, chased horses, threw rotten tomatoes at constables. We weren't bad kids. In fact, we were very good kids. But we had nothing much better to do.
Sometimes in the evening, when you could just see the pale sun setting and the grinding noise of industrial London slowed and silenced...Sometimes, I took off my shoes and dirty jacket and stolen cap and climbed barefoot up the side of the buildings, my toes finding footholds in the bricks, my fingertips scraping and bleeding. Pigeons rose around me as I climbed to the chimney. I would lean against the warm brick and look out.
Beyond my view, beyond the smog and the Thames and the dirty harbor and the swearing sailors, beyond London, there was a place where I could see the sun.(less)
What you think you want and what you "really" want are not often the same. When the two match perfectly, life is good. Every other time is a mini struggle - a battle within a war, to live life like one should.
I cannot seem to express the thrill that ran through me at that time. The fear had plunged down my gut like a thunderous wave. The sensation was incredible -- frightening, yes -- but still incredible. I was quelled to notice my tingling spine, and the upright hairs on(more) the back of my arms. The shiver that ran through me was enticing.
It was here -- that thing -- which had caused such a legacy amongst my peers, and my enemies alike. The reason some men returned home to their wives with their sanity askew, and some never returned at all.
I couldn't see it, no, but I could feel it standing beyond my view. That's how these things always worked. You're never meant to see, but always to know. Perhaps this was because it was such an integral part of this place that it could hide itself in the walls or the floors. It would come crawling out as soon as you look away.
I was dead as soon as I had closed my eyes. (less)
There is a world I cannot see. It is the world stirring behind my eyes, one that cannot even be fathomed entirely by the eye within the mind. It is the realm of imagination, ungoverned by the laws of nations and the laws of order. It is free, chaotic,(more) perfect, destructive, inspiring. And yet, I cannot see it. Art is a limited view into it, limited by the skills that the artist possesses. I will never see my lover's imagination, nor will she see mine, but that world thrives behind our eyes.(less)
"There is nothing beyond my view," Sanburg stated with a satisfied smile.
Dursley thought that this idea was actually so far from the truth it might make it all the way around and come back again as an undisputed fact, but he kept this thought to himself. Instead(more), he went with "I would imagine not, sir. You ran quite a campaign. You deserve to be here."
He did not. William Sanburg had been elected mayor of Chicago by ten votes, it what had to have been the dirtiest campaign in at least...recent memory. Dursley had been his campaign manager since the beginning, and had seen things that made him wonder if organized crime might be a lateral career move into a slightly more lucrative industry.
"Did you get everything sorted out with the Ortega fellow," Sanburg asked.
"Not yet, I have that on the schedule for tomorrow, but I can bump it to today if you like. Also, I do not know what you mean by sorted out."
Sanburg let out an annoyed sigh, "I don't want him in my city, ever again."
Dursley stifled a sigh of his own. He could ignore the sudden switch from "the" to "my", that was inevitable, but the grandiose decree of kicking someone out of a city permanently was a little harder to swallow. He wasn't sure how to go about it. A bribe maybe? How much cash does it take to not come back to Chicago...he would have to see what was left in the campaign fund. Dursley imagined he would have to get used to that sort of task pretty fast. There is nothing beyond William Sanburgs view, after all.(less)