Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
After A Snow Storm: A Reflection
by Alegria Imperial
I woke to a brilliance that washed into my window as Southwest Airlines Flight 70 floated past Denver on its route from Seattle to Salt Lake City on Christmas Day. The light, I realized, had burst not out of cloud openings but from this illumined surface below—a swatch of snow-brushed ground textured among crags; where snow must have driven piles, smoothed ridges on low lying slopes like tear-stained cheeks a lover had touched after a rift; where snow must have blown, slanting, smoky and mysterious as veiled eyes; where the storm left a shroud of tulle on a lake, magnificence where words slide.
Words do not make such a moment. Nothing happens then as the senses are stunned. The eyes, windows to the vastness out there and the vastness we carry within, merely encounter a kind of reflection of some truth.
But is everyone struck by such a reflection? Did everyone on that flight soak in the magnificence below? No. A woman in the window seat behind me was dozing. A man in the aisle seat across from me fiddled with his Blackberry. Behind him, an older man played cards with his sons. Perhaps a few others did gaze at the longed-for beauty; I wouldn't have seen them from my seat. One thing I know is attentiveness that leads to reflection is earned.
Reflection, then, has nothing to do with the nature of reality, as in the astounding beauty of that scene; it does with the realm of essences as in the meeting of that landscape and eyes that had set on it. Wherein lies the difference? What would later surface from the stillness of the moment?
Silence. Quietude. Stillness, when reality bounces back shorn of weight and texture, defines the moment of reflection—when reality washes into the eye and seeps into that deep vastness within us, where realities metamorphose into truths revealing themselves, often not immediately but hours, days, even years later.
Some truths rise unexpectedly as passing thought; others wing in only when the mind is unchained. For many, this depth remains unreachable, and truths, untapped. But for the few who have disciplined the senses, they slink into it. Some are known prodigies of reflection, most take years to attain it. For me, it had seemed like a lifelong process and I often regressed, though I had persisted in starting over and over again.
That I must have advanced somehow I realized days after I landed in Baltimore and began to write this piece. Reflecting on the theme, I felt as sleek as a diver, snaring a truth in the snow scene. And it was this: the essence of beauty is peace, the absence of resistance a moment impinges as it passes into perfection. True peace thus lies in an absolute faith in the moment—that with its passing, if not fought, comes transformation, even with violence, as in the snow storm just over, which carved the mystifying scene.
This piece by Alegria Imperial was condensed from an article published at Timeless Spirit Magazine: www.timelessspirit.com
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