Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crank Up the Quiet Volume, Fill Up the Void

Rainy bench and thought-trigger

The rain of the early part of the week filled up many normally empty voids: gutters and gulleys, ditches and drains, culverts and basins. With it: fog, humidity, wind, a long cool soaking of everything. Doors swell up. Cool feels cooler to me.

Reflect and fill up

The basin before me sits empty almost always. Of water, anyway, though sometimes birds visit it, or people walking dogs, or maintenance men who will sit in the shade a while with you on on blazing hot summer day talking of old TV programs and what we've become. But its singular or primary purpose is to do what it's doing in the photo above: to catch and gather water, store or buffer it, hold it as it runs from streets and diversion routes, then further direct it down pipes, and away.

Mountain and tree, fog and water, basin and range: volume and void

Here I can pause, in this spot on my bicycle. I need to fill up. With Thanksgiving food and with thanks, yes, and not with stuff or bargain purchases or urgent sale frenzy, no, but with this quiet volume. The mountain wreathed in fog is a quiet volume of connection with the filled basin in front of me. In rain, rocks (and sometimes water, and debris) flow down it, tiny rivulets trickling between cactus, speeding and joining as they run into streams, into torrents, that can overwhelm us with their roar.

A mountain not used to fog, but which wears it well

This quiet volume fills me up. It's not noise, or fashion, or bright bargain billboards lit with flashing lights I seek, but a quiet place connected to mountains, trees, and water, showing flow, that whispers about what lasts, actually, and that fills me up in my own local place.

It's time to crank up that quiet volume, and ride with it. I think it could involve cycling out to those places of volume and void, and jumping into them with enthusiasm, and with an open mind, to learn from them--they are without limits in what they might teach, I think. So try, stay strong in it, and do not be distracted by fleeting noise when something so much more is attainable.


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