Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Strange and Wonderful

I didn't get away from work until dusk this evening. The lights of the city were coming on before nightfall settled in completely. At that time of day/evening, the light plays tricks on your mind making the world look like a carnival. As I sat at a stop sign, the tail lights of cars streaked by which looked almost like a time-lapse video. It is an odd sensation that happens to me now and again. It's like I'm sitting there detached from the things happening around me. I become an observer and time seems to stand still and yet the world keeps spinning around. It's very hard to explain. I sat there engrossed in the light show until a driver behind me honked his horn and yanked me back into the moment.
This happened to me once when we went to see the Matisse Exhibit at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. It was back in the late 70's and we were visiting my Army buddy Doug McGraw. Doug lived on the second floor of an old Victorian apartment and we spent a week exploring the best that our nation has to offer. One afternoon we drove downtown and parked on the street that led up to the Museum. It was a warm spring day and the cherry trees were in blossom. The Museum had Matisse banners announcing the exhibit flying out front. We paid admission and took our time meandering through some of the most beautiful art on the planet. I'm not sure if it was the color, the images, or the knowing that we were in the presence of greatness, but I got that out-of-body sensation.
As I said, I'm not sure what causes it or what it means, but it is not and unpleasant experience. In fact the feeling of detachment seems to make me feel even more alive. It's a strange and wonderful thing.

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