Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Glass Windows and Long Stories

There is something cosmic about staring out of the glass, on level with the clouds and tree tops, looking down on parking lots and roofs. Today, I am more aware of this feeling for various reasons. The most obvious of these is, of course, that it is a clear day, with unlimited visibility, the sun spilling gold all around the world, so the sky feels like another landscape. If I wasn't so afraid of situating myself in precarious places, like high glass towers which would often be at the mercy of the frequent storms, I'd be a megalomaniac, intoxicated by this sight.

However, there is another reason for being more aware of the cosmos: some new potentially habitable planets have just been discovered. The informed ponderers postulate about the existence of water on these planets, which could host life.

This worries me; I feel like I am perched at the edge of a high, fragile glass window in the middle of an indifferent storm. How is life an accident? We assume that we are unique; doesn't that scare everyone? This assumption seems illogical at best and egoistical at worst!

My reaction, of course, like always, is to seek out stories that examine other alternatives. The ones I have been drawn to lately have been fantastical universes, even multi-verses that are not anthropocentric. I find these stories about dimensions of other lives, life-forms, realities co-existing with us, fascinating. These have been the stories that have kept me up at night (work schedules notwithstanding).

An excellent example, of course, is the Harry Potter series; I revisited the first book since it was what my book club was reading, and again, I find myself hooked. I have blogged about this elsewhere, so I shall save my patient reader the repetition. Then, Shannara kept me up till the wee hours. And now, Stroud's London, told partially from a Djinni's perspective, holds me captive.

They say Fall is the season when curtains between various worlds and states of being are at their thinnest. The falling year does bring to mind the long story told over many nights, the longer twilights and small days, when humanity holds the largest number of festivals, celebrating beings we don't really understand but are acutely aware of.  I think of this season as the least anthropocentric, when people are naturally drawn out of their shelters at night, to gaze at the large moon and sharp stars, and wonder.

So in a couple of hours, when the evening begins, I, too, shall fold up the day and settle down with the unending story that reminds me to be afraid of high glass windows. After all, I am not Sisyphus and my world is not as predictable  or  as anthropocentric as his: I do not inhabit a deserted universe, nor do I have the strength to roll this rock, or believe myself to be the only upright life form.


  1. The eye itself is in essence a window, a glass window for mind to peek through. In that sense we all are always sitting behing the glass window.

  2. . . . that could implode and blind us! Yes, Dhaval, I agree!