Lately I’ve been taking comfort in transience, been soothed by the fleeting and the fading. I like the thought of the great terrestrial sweep laying beyond our control, of the solidity of a landscape weighed against humanity’s impermanence. I’ve been working to capture this perspective, this feeling that comes from looking out over boundless expanse and losing a sense of substance. That sensation of being caught up in the sweep of a desert landscape or the arc of a never-ending night sky. There’s an untethering of sorts. A little drift or slip as the view rushes away to some vast hazy horizon and you sense not just that you are small in the eye of this great expanse but are also, perhaps, not even corporeal.
It would seem unnerving, this shadowy feeling of indistinction when a landscape overwhelms our own sense of relevance, but instead I find it reassuring. It’s a reminder of our fleeting existence as the great tectonic plates eternally churn beneath our feet and the light that reaches us from the immense Milky Way originated in stars some thousands of years ago. Did you know that every day the universe drops 200 metric tons of star dust onto Earth? How can we fear insignificance amid such monumental dynamism?
So it’s amidst this untethering that I find you, dear refuge. I take solace in that unsteady feeling that comes from looking out over a boundless expanse and attempt to express it in the ephemeral details of this one brief life. A flock of birds on the horizon, a moth twirling in the evening gloom, an abandoned house silhouetted against a darkening sky. All just shining briefly in recognition of this ever-expanding universe.
~ Rosie Carter March, 2014