The Splendor of Simplicity
He always loved driving down the highway on his way home from work after it had rained. The streets became magical, the shiny blackness reflecting another world, a world of bright oblong road signs, of green, and white, and yellow, inverted and stretched downward as if gravity was pulling them within the earth. Lights flashed on the overpass up ahead, and made long skinny lines of orange that would appear and disappear just as quickly. The asphalt had a slick sheen like the skin of a seal. He loved the minimalist beauty involved, and the fact that it all hung on that simplest of substances, but the most profound, water. He imagined a parallel world, reflected by ours into another dimension below us, that only the thin sheet of water mixed with oils allowed us to see. A world skewed to our eyes because of our position.
Of course the reality was it was just the properties of reflected light being refracted by the droplets of water that stretched the images, having to do with it being a wave and all, or a particle and a wave, or whatever. But he couldn’t shake the mystical feeling he got, a feeling that something more was there. Something that caused a feeling of transcendence within his gut. He savored the beauty of the wet streets, the way that a plain old street sign was transformed by the road into what looked like a white brushstroke painted onto the canvas against the blackness of the unknowable.
He just wanted to stay in this moment, sucking the beauty into his eyes. Shut out the troubles and concerns he couldn’t get out of his mind. For a moment the mist cleared and he could see clearly that all his worries and concerns, about the future, and about how it would come out, were so self-centered and stemmed from an abundance of fear. This, this feeling, it was a turning point. The vastness of it all hit him, and it made the tension in his neck release. This drama called life, it wasn’t about him. It was about this beauty, these fleeting instances of grasping something bigger than the “I” produced by our frontal lobe. He need not worry, he need not even be. He was okay with the fact that were he to suddenly stop existing, the world and all that made it beautiful and terrible would continue, off into eternity.