Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Philosophical Morning

Today I had a Philosophical morning.

With a cup of coffee on my left hand and the keys on the other, I silently walked out of the green and yellow building where I live, with a desire to retreat before giving a two hour lecture on linear algebra. At that time, the Sunday morning still had most of my neighbors caught in undisturbed reveries, except from a middle aged man that was cheerfully jogging along with his puppy, who seemed equally inspirited for motion. Albeit I had noticed his presence in the beginning, I did not keep up the sight so as to exchange glances, which would have preceded a courteous, however cold salutation.

I deliberately let him walk in front, as I slowly made my way to the end of the street to witness once again the transformation of a place that used to be a beach with gray sands and marine debris, into a landscape that Godfrey Reggio himself would have captured for a movie like Koyaanisqatsi. The vast and infertile monochromatic landscape was only discontinued by the presence of bright orange, robust and metallic caterpillars in rest position, but that would keep delving the soil the next day at a time no later than the sunrise. The sky, however, was rather clear and poorly populated by puffy clouds at the distant horizon; a picture that Baudelaire would have not been fond of, but that would have awakened the muse of painting to inspire Piero Della Francesca.

I sipped again my cup of decaf which was almost empty, while I graciously acknowledged how lucky I was to be alone in front of the thought provoking scenery. My feet were hanging from a small cliff, and my position in front of the void was similar to that of fishing. Then I thought to myself: here I am, in words of Deresiewicz and Thoreau, fishing in the Walden pond of my own nature, baiting hooks with darkness. Contrary to common intuition, there were no trout or bass bites (or their metaphorical counterparts for that matter) in this fanciful recreation. I would say it was rather the idle receptiveness to the world the actual scene produced in my head that betrayed the impulse of providing peace and tranquility. The latter did not last much, as a loafer suddenly parked her bike close to me, probably to quench her whim for contemplation, or to take a quick look to the latest works in the neighborhood regarding coastal geotechnics.

Perhaps I should not have blamed the slight interruption of her bike brakes for pinching the bubble of my temporary absent mindedness, as a snowball of petty concerns was only seconds away from jostling me with extraordinary vim. The reason for this intermission is something I have yet to fish, but I am prone to believe it is due to a learned awareness of the world, where the sensitive attention is demanded at all times, in other words, an idea of control. At this time there was no coffee left, and I decided that it was about time to head back to the normal course of the day. Quickly, I found myself putting my feet back to the ground, and turning around facing the street where I had come from. I realized that only a few minutes had really passed, and that it was about time to walk to the house where I was going to give the lecture on the fundamentals of vector analysis. Apparently, the tight agenda of four Business Management students and their understandable aversion to geometry, were the factors that exhorted them to hire this engineer who never thought of doing this      kind of work, after being on an oceanographic expedition in the Artic Circle.    

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