And for a transient moment, life was like a simple yet perfect painting — nothing superfluous, everything poignantly purposeful. Clarity.
Then, a man in our Hummer shattered the silence. He called to our safari guide: “Jessika, I think we lost a member.” She shot the headlights back on to reveal the Frenchman in our group urinating just a short dash away from the lions. She scorned him back into the Hummer and turned on the engine.
The lights, the noise, the voices — it was a sign that ‘normal’ life was resuming, just like when a plane begins boarding. And I was back in my world. From here, the gap no longer existed: The Hummer would drive back to the lodge; from there, we would go to the airport; the plane would take me back to New York, back in the rhythm. My new world was gone.
I resumed my life, thinking, talking and writing about all those things that were inconsequential under the stars. But, in this world, they still mattered — or, at least, the human consequences did. So the world was necessarily cluttered again.
This week was no different. I was on deadline — stressed and frustrated — when my apartment lost electricity. At first, there was anger. But then I realized someone just turned off the headlights and, briefly, the imprints of the dusty stars shined through. I returned to that pensive night, where the heavens were too vast for today's worries but perfect for infinite contemplation.
Perspective was recaptured and, through it, a vague image of truth.
--This picture had something to do with the piece.