Had a sobering experience yesterday. I was on the expressway, driving to get Ikuni, and I found myself surrounded by semi-trucks—one in front, two on each side and two behind me. I was listening to the song “4th” by Gackt (a cacophony of synthesizers, rhythmic static, sounds of war and Gackt’s amazing falsetto voice), which added a kind of surreal soundtrack to the situation.
Encased between the loud, dirty grey trucks, I looked up at the sky and literally gasped. It was Caribbean blue, and large swirls of pure white clouds looked just like waves. I can’t think of a word strong enough that would convey how beautiful it was. Too soon, the clouds changed shape, the trucks moved on and the song ended, but a euphoric, illusory feeling stayed with me.
After getting Ikuni, I headed back toward the expressway, passing through littered, downtown streets. On a corner, an elderly man stood hunched. His shirt was unbuttoned, and you could see his ribs. He looked hungry and exhausted. My dreamy euphoria was replaced by sadness as I thought of the hard reality of that man’s life.
By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else. From beauty no road leads to reality. ~Hannah Arendt