My footprints disappeared seconds after I left them, eternally swept away from the sandy canvas that they once littered. My trailing thoughts were swallowed by the immensity of such a place so close to home, yet so far from anything I could understand. All the comforts of knowledge gave way to awe-inspiring ignorance, but I couldn’t eat the fruit – I had to settle for simply twisting it around.
The toe of my shoe carved through the cold wet sand, but any crack at language soon swirled into meaningless expression on the edge of infinity. Behind me, the sound of a midnight’s tide came crashing against the shore as an array of stars I could only attempt to comprehend glistened in radiant abundance amidst a sea of darkness.
It was the sky that had lured me out here.
Luckily, the weekend’s rain clouds had cleared up before the night’s mycological encounter; otherwise their shroud of complete darkness would have spoiled my introspective adventure.
I couldn’t move. Nothing made sense to me – and I loved it.
I remembered how amazing the night sky was to me as a child, how long I would lie down and gaze up at the stars. Falling away to bed back then seemed light years behind my stargazing hobby. And while my dreams never bored me – I never tired of being chased underwater by giant sea turtles, surviving my way through cannibalistic penguins or falling down the crust of a giant Woodstock’s pizza – it was the sky that seemed to strike the flint stashed in the recesses of my imagination.
Then I found myself again, standing alone on the rim of the endless Pacific. I watched as the stars melted from their bluish hue into that of a fiery red. While my foundation continued to sink into the blank slate that supported me, I wished for a stopwatch.
“One click,” I thought. “Then I could stand here forever, not having to worry about the problems and hassles of the world that always distracted me from this provocative paradise.”
I didn’t want to move. Forget progress. Forget school. Forget work. I didn’t want anyone to tell me what I should do or how I should do it. Society could go fuck itself for all I cared. I needed this paradise; it was part of me.
While my trance soon spiraled out to sea, I couldn’t help but wish that others could share in such a paradise. It was mine obviously, but if someone else could have felt this incredible ignorance spilling through their own veins, then I’d know I wasn’t the only one tripping without a cause.
Have you ever been entranced by the California sun as it dips below the orange and pink Isla Vista skyline? Ever stopped and stared at the sheer Santa Maria mountainside? How about ignore the putrid smell of our campus lagoon and ponder the incredible idiosyncrasies of pelicans interacting?
It seems that all of us are so consumed by what we want to get out of life that we have ignored our imaginations completely. As kids, we would be fascinated by the simplest objects that grabbed our attention; We’d stare up at the sky and imagine ourselves probing the far reaches of the galaxy. However, the older we get, our heads sink further and further into the sand. We neglect our universe for trivial and superficial manifestations, staring down at the flat ground instead of up at the colossal sky.
My mouth was wired open. Then, as the tide of my imagination crept back to shore, the toe of my shoe continued to slice through the sand. My carving ended with a final stroke: It was the only word that came to mind and the only one that even came close to describing what I felt.
I stared up at the stars. Then as I looked back to the ground, I saw the tide sweep my scribbling from the sand and cast it out into the perplexing sea.
Daily Nexus Opinion Editor Jeff Gibson spent his entire weekend cleaning out the sand from the darkened recesses of his brand-new sneakers.