My mind drifts, aimless and without resistance. Along the currents, I’m borne towards distant banks of wonder. In these moments, when placid waters of thought lap at the shores of my consciousness, I am often washed over with a profound wonder at the complexity of life on this planet.
Not just the flowers and trees, life mammalian and avian, not even to say cephalopods and cetaceans. More, in these moments of idle drifting through the ripples of profundity, I am lost at the thought of all the lives currently being lived by homo sapiens. The depth, the complexity, the sheer detail that is contained in the existences’ of seven billion people.
I know the Germans call it ‘sonder,’ but think of the immense amount of data that it would take to catalog even the most minute detail of this group of animals. Favorite color, their opinion towards socks, what color pillow they’d like if the market was giving away free pillows.
It floods my mind with details innumerable and incalculable. And while that rouses my wonder, I often try to understand the greater from examples. To think of people who tonight sleep in a certain apartment or dwelling. How was their commute today? Did they remember to brush their teeth, if that was possible in the first place? To think of everyone at that level of normal is incredible.
Sometimes when I’m feeling these notions I like to go for a walk, or if my neighborhood has grown stale, I watch one of several videos people record of them simply going on a night walk, which I greatly prefer to the gaudy day. It astounds me to see the quotidian played out, the mundane made into art by the simple act of being lived.
So many deep questions, the very depths of existential dread just washed away in the action of living life’s most normal activities. Confucius would be proud of meaning found in the rituals of life.
What I think leaves me the most awestruck is how unbelievably beautiful it all is. Simple act of being quietly alive is so incredible I am almost brought to tears to see such daily life. Nothing put on, nothing for show, just buying milk at the supermarket, or hanging laundry on the line.
I remember once sitting on the back balcony of my apartment in Bangkok, these sorts of utility balconies are perfect for sitting in wide-eyed wonder of this phenomenon. I could see several apartment buildings from my spot. All clustered near mine, with spaces lit in fluorescent beauty. You could see balconies full of random objects, hear TV shows and arguments, and admire the simple functioning of life. No acting, no pretension, just a normal night of humanity. The daily was made holy by those who enacted its activities. The breeze of heaven itself dried the clothes fresh from the wash, and cooked chilies wafted up to the heavens as our offering from below to those enthroned on high.
It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.