Feb 7 • 7M

The sun is a painter

and I have the happy tears to prove it

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A break from bad news for bites of other pleasures.
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Testing…testing…hello? nervous system? wowza!

There are some things in life that last a long time and don’t stay a long time, and then there are some things that don’t last very long, yet remain with you a very long time.

The burning pain of swollen red nuggets at the end of scorched, fire-building palms paled in comparison to the first time the word awesome really met its sensory match. Sure, I was just out to get some extra toilet paper, an everyday errand, and this turned into a quick tur (short for walk) toward the ocean. I had promised myself to visit the ocean daily, something my former landlocked Midwestern self always longed for. In my aim to greet the ocean at least one time a day, I received a much higher reward.

Gazing across the black-on-black horizon smattered with glow from Munkholmen, the island of monks in the Trondheimsfjord, there it was: the nighttime rainbow. A wash of green haze spread across the night. And so I stood in gratitude and awe.

Breathtaking….beauty. As forewarned by a friend days earlier about the increased solar activity, I had also noticed my dreams were more vivid, sleep deeper. Though I had given up on seeing the lights as they were not showing up as forecasted, alas, just as I let go of expecting and veered intuitively out to greet the promises made past, my present was met with a familiar faint glow.

Over the next half an hour, the lights would dance, gently, and so I said, that was enough of a gift. Deciding to head back thinking that was an amazing show, and in all, of course there would be more in store.

Standing on the bridge, appreciating the recent fresh coat of paint over obnoxious adolescent graffiti, the night lights came back on again. This time, stronger, deeper, more dramatic in formation. Tears formed at the corners of my wind whipped eyes. My heart fluttering made holding my phone, which is really a portable camera with multi-channel communication device, I could share this sight for more eyes to see.

Proof right there, life isn’t just some hologram we are hallucinating. Whether or not I was standing there, the rest of the people smiling and scooting on their scooters toward where I had walked from, was comforting. Everyone else could see the glee in my face as I smiled and nodded back at them knowingly. We were getting the best show the night has to offer, for merely the cost of time and parkas on our backs most of which can be found in second-hand stores; the northern lights are something of a massive gift to see first-hand.

You see, many days at this time of year are full of dark-grey clouds. A lot like the late winter in the Midwest, the autumn in the middle part of Norway inspires hibernation. It can take clear-up until midday to start to feel awake, and so venturing out to get toilet paper a bit after 10pm really does not feel late at all.

Fully satisfied beyond all compare, I witnessed the most profound dance of rose, white, violet, green, and sublime iridescent shades express themselves across the sky in the least expected spot, right over the neighbourhood. What was dreary and grey, with all the colourful leaves fallen, earlier in the day, was now painted more ecstatically than any of the best television screens. I tried to capture that event in the camera, and failed. (see below) Was the show all for me as New Age philosophy would proport? This time, no one else was standing nearby. I looked across to the traffic street I just crossed and hoped everyone driving by was also seeing the same delight.

Heavens, I must have made the night clerks at the grocery store giggle. Beaming smiles in such banal spaces, finally checking-out with essential supplies I had set out for. I had received more food from the hour under the evening night lights than I did from anything I ate during that day. This kind of experiential, natural, energetic fuel has the ability to sustain a level of fullness beyond all measure.

After arriving home, I chucked off my sneakers and cried! more. Why was I holding back these tears of joy? This rhetorical question was quickly met realizing I won’t get to see any of these wonders when I’m past, and I won’t be able to tell anyone about it either. The most sublime joy in the world lasting just minutes at a time, stays with me so very long for weeks and years to come, because I understand that dance of light is happening whether or not we can see it. And when I say understand, I literally mean I stand under that sky.

The conditions at night welcome such displays, but the rainbows, day or night, are always there. The conditions make the everpresent perceptions emerge from the field. But that field is always there. And so even on a cloudy day, even if my sciatic nerve acts up, or I get news that challenges my hopes, expectations, or plans, the feeling of bliss and gratitude for this life annihilates sadness to the point the joy looks like sadness. But it’s not sad; it’s just so much love my heart could explode. And so my heart does, about 54 beats a minute. I would slow it all down if I could, because even in the pains and losses life is just so good, and I never want it to stop.

But for now I’ll sleep, and rest assured those lights tonight were birthing the future. As an artist paints, that sun creates with magnetic radiance, a spark with our hearts desire at a time soon to come.

Munkholmen at daytime
Nordlyser over the bridge in Trondheim, looking toward Munkholmen
The encore before finally getting TP at the store :)