Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bookmark upon the horizon

Joseph Campbell’s words startled me and left a thread. “There are no horizons in space.”

I grew up with the Gulf and stayed as close to the water’s horizon as possible.  The horizon gently swells like a single hand moving beneath a silky sheet. The prairie’s horizon was ever so similar with its fields of corn. The wind would move the tall green stalks like the waves upon the gulf.  Now, my horizon is mountainous. No long a solitary hand beneath the sheet. The mountains’ rising, undulations, and sloping are like lovers beneath the silky sheets. The union of earth and sky.  No longer flattened, the horizon is segmented, broken, obstructed and forces me to look up not out. Horizons orient me. They ground me. They tell me where I am. To contemplate the absence of horizons is way too much for my little weary mind.

When George Schaller, the mentor of Diane Fossey (Gorillas Among the Mist) was asked how he ever was able to gather such intimate knowledge about the gorillas he simply replied, “It was easy. I didn’t carry a gun.”  He stepped outside his horizons of definition, labels, security, expectations and all he had been told and discovered a new world.

When you think of it, horizons are really a visual mirage.  That was the hurdle Columbus had to overcome and the crux of the charge of heresy and lifetime house arrest for Galileo. They stepped out without their guns of fear.  There are no horizons in space. The earthen ones I see are illusions. The ones I create are made of fear.  So what will ground and orient me or tell me where I am? Perhaps that is the lesson of the thread, the grounding, the orientation and direction come from the realization, belief and embracement – that there are no horizons of limitation.  And even better yet – it applies to everyone; it is not just for the enlightened.  A bookmark for later. My mind is weary and not so wise. But I shall go and look at the sliver’d moon and watch her dance like a child above my horizons.

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