Saturday, September 19, 2009

Smell the Roses

We've all heard it and are constantly reminded to stop and smell the flowers. Ironically, the statement is normally given by some two-bit writer in New York City trying to access their philosophical side and push deeper into the crux of human emotions in order to trigger the primeval urge, present in all of us, to just slow down and take it easy and appreciate the world around us, as they stand in a crowded Starbucks howling at the Barista because they used whole fat whip instead of the organic non-fat whip while simultaneously flicking off the person next to them, simply because they can, and creating the scene for what will become headlines on the 6 o'clock news; "Mass riot unfurls after minor scuffle over whipped cream spills into the streets" which has the inevitably tragic, yet poetic, conclusion of the entire block being set aflame, vanquishing the local flower population.

I digress. Look up the next time you're outside. Maybe it's my philosophical side and my urge to slow down and appreciate the Universe (at least a riot on Earth can't destroy that!), but it's something people rarely do. We live in the age of technology, which, while infinitely good, has created a nation of robots staring down at little screens, typing senseless combinations of letters that to any normal person would seem like a toddler got a hold of their parents phone and started smashing buttons (LOL!? ROTFLMAO!?). It seems that a lack of curiosity has begun to set in amongst the younger population (namely those I've come in contact with) who care more about Kanye's recent act of idiocy further proving how ignorant and disrespectful he is; thus raising his "coolness" factor by a whopping [insert random made up number]%.

Maybe this is just the rant of a disgruntled astronomer who has seen the History Channel take Astronomy and turn it into a joke science of soothsayers predicting the death of the Earth any second now... wait for it... damn. We're all still alive, but just wait until 2012, it'll be bigger than Y2K. Remember that? Did you hoard toilet paper to prepare for the end of the world and the beginning of the age of Toilet Paper Currency? Silly? I remember seeing it on the news. Can a disaster of astronomical proportions destroy the Earth? Yes. Right now, though, I'd be more worried about a disaster of economic proportions than a GRB.

So before I completely lose track of what my initial intention was for writing this post, look up, smell the air and stare at the stars... just get out of the street before you do and avoid the riot progressing down your street from Starbucks.

Look up, imagine, and wonder... why are WE here and give pause to the miracle that is life, all that had to go right for even a single cell organism to form. I do believe Carl Sagan put it best, we are currently the only known mechanism for "the Universe to study itself".

Saturday, September 5, 2009

With Open Arms

Fall. Never has this planet seen a more polarizing season, with some arguing that it must surely be the worst season as it signals the end of the warm spring and summer seasons and beckons forth humanities mortal enemy - or at least the mortal enemy of those who deem 60 degrees "cold" - winter. I, on-the-other-hand, take more kindly to the presence of fall. To me, fall is marvellous, a season filled with a majestic beauty that rivals any on the planet.

As we begin this natural transition out of the summer months, take notice of the slight bitterness in the air, permeating the walls of your nose creating an indescribable tingling sensation leaving you feeling refreshed and satisfied with the current state of life. Yes, fall most certainly lets you know that you are alive and well and, if even for just a minute, it has the power to cause you to forget all of the stresses that life in this era brings - and to think, I haven't even mentioned the changing of the leaves!

Anyone who has never experienced the change of the green leaves to the bright oranges and reds, offset perfectly by the right amount of browns, beiges, and purples, has not experienced the true wonder of nature! I must say, it is easy to take for granted the fact that the leaves change and then slowly wander away from their creator, especially when you've lived with it your entire life, but if you slow down and just watch and listen... nothing more... you begin to gain a greater appreciation for the phenomenon. People travel across the country to watch this event... but I have the opportunity to see it every year.

Wait! Who can forget the pumpkins, apples, and apple cider!? Just to add to the wonder of fall, trees in the Northeast produce the most wonderful apples the world has ever seen and not just one or two varieties, but a plethora of succulent little spheres of goodness. And what else do we get from apples? Apple sauce and the most delicious drink ever created by man, mulled cider! The tartness of the apples mixing perfectly with the spiciness of the cinnamon, allspice and clove - there is nothing better.

Okay, so others I am sure have conveyed the wonderment of fall with a more poetic touch - but I cannot help but write about the coming of fall, for I have already had several encounters with that bitter air, just ever so slightly perking my senses and exciting my mind to the prospect of the coming months. I highly recommend taking a look around in the coming weeks in order to appreciate what is about to transpire - and maybe listen to Evergrey after you do - did I mention that Evergrey is the best band to listen to in the fall? I don't know why, but they are. So farewell and happy autumn!