Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ingredient 8 - Sunsets

When I referred to The List to find out what "ingredient" was up for dissection, I was DEE-lighted to find "sunsets" awaiting its moment in the blogdom spotlight.  Sunsets: what an awesome thing to write about! 
Except, now, after sitting in front of my laptop waiting for the words to find me, I am realizing that sunsets are not so easy to express in written word, because they are so incredibly self-expressed.  How can I take one of God's most beautiful art forms and expand on it, even with the cerebral library of words I have carefully catalogued over the years?  Words can say just about anything -paint any picture- if strung together in neatly descriptive juxtaposition, but how does one repaint a praise-worthy image of a spectacular vision that just about everyone has had the chance to behold? 
So, of course, I now find myself pondering the "what if" scenario(s): What if I did not possess the gift of sight?  What if -as a blind person- I desperately needed someone to be my witness, to help me know the beauty that is the reality of a sunset? Or(!), what if I was asked to bear vicarious witness?  What if I had to find the words that would bring to life the last moments of daylight for someone who had never seen light or color or clouds or the horizon?  What would I say?  How would I say it?  Could I even come close to getting it right?
After much thought, I feel certain that I would have to take my "what if" blind-since-birth friend to the beach.  And, as the sunset approached, I guess I would say something like...

"First, listen closely to the wind and water -elemental siblings- as they play sweetly with one another; the activity between them heightening as their ruling parent -a great nocturnal sphere that reflects the fiery warmth of the sun- begins to rise with calm supervision.  Hold on to that sound. 

Imagine a vast watery expanse, rising and falling, falling and rising in an unplanned, but perfected rhythm, like a song composing itself: its melody seeming to create your very existence where you stand, calling on your cellular memory, beckoning you back to your origin.  Let yourself rise and fall with the sacred promise of the sea.  Hold on to the sound. Stay in motion.

Beyond the watery expanse is the bright taste of orange and lemon sherbet, followed by the deepest of red wines, taken one small sip at a time.  Hold on to the sound.  Stay in motion.  Savor the taste of iridescent warmth. 

Let yourself transpose those flavors into a vision of the mind, and then wrap that vision in silk and cashmere, soft and flowing.  The sound, the motion, the taste, and the touch: everything coming together in joyful camaraderie.

During this time, the cooling sand has made an exact mold of your feet as a simple trick meant to remind you of your form (one existence leaving an imprint on another, as with the sun and earth).  Hold on to the sound.  Stay in motion.  Taste.  Touch.  Be still. 

Just for a second, be still. 

When you are ready -only at your own command- walk to where surf meets shore, no further than to tickle your toes, and let yourself recall -with vivid feeling- the moment your lips first touched those of a new, true love: your heart quickening, your soul singing, your skin simultaneously running warm with the chills of a love shared, even if for only an instant. 

Hold on to the sound, stay in motion, keep the taste on your tongue, relish the touch, remember your form, rest in the stillness, and experience the love.  Now, take it all and make it the one that it never wasn't.  Then toss it out, far beyond the expanse of water and time.  Behold...your sunset."


  1. Sunsets are powerful. It's a spiritual experience in itself.

    1. yes. we are lucky to be able to see them.

  2. Love it so much I have read it 3 times and each time it just gets better!

    1. thanks ma. i never relly realized how difficult it is to use our other senses to attempt to describe anything, much less something as magnificent as a sunset. of course, i am my worst, i don't think i did it justice; yet i can't think of anything to add. i know i have realized how grateful i am for my sight. we take so much for granted.

  3. what a perfect posting. very descriptive and heart FELT.
    i actually saw the sunset.

    great visuals!!!!

    Loved it!

  4. This is such a great post! Brought me back to the sunsets of Hawaii (which I miss terribly but was able to recapture through this post!!)

  5. You're my sunset Baby. Well done. That had to be so tough.