I posted this photo this morning as the sun was rising, hence I was thinking about sunrises. In my sleepiness, however, I didn’t write anything. Here are some words:
This photo was taken in February of 2014 on Caye Caulker, Belize, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. There are worse things to wake up to at 6:30 in the morning. Taking a good picture of a sunrise is not very easy, though. The glowing, fiery sun that makes everything so gorgeous darkens everything in the foreground, inhibiting perspective.
You look at the photo later and it’s but a paltry representation of something so otherworldly – but at the same so common – that it can make an atheist yearn for an explanation. But the photo is not really what you saw with your eyes. It will jog your memory later, but it won’t match it. You spend the rest of your life looking back on that sunrise in your mind’s eye, because what was burned into your brain is more vibrant and spiritual than what the lens captured. The photo is pretty, but it’s not what keeps you warm at night.
Just for kicks, I decided to doctor this photo. Now it looks more like a sunset. I’m okay with this bit of digital trickery, because – unless you’re on top of a mountain – I think sunsets are often cooler-looking than sunrises. Plus, you don’t have to get up early to see them. Sunsets on highways in Ohio are particularly beautiful; I don’t know why. A sunrise, on the other hand, is really something special, because you have to make an effort, you have to sacrifice, you have to want it badly enough to inconvenience yourself. That’s what makes them taste so good.
This is not aimless rambling. Here are some things you can take away and store as sage wisdom after watching the sun rise and set:
1. Look at things with your eyes first, a camera lens second. Memories matter more than things.
2. Sunrises and sunsets mark the passage of time and they’re beautiful, but what actually counts is what we do and how we behave in the time between the two.
3. How you behave in bed at night counts for a lot, too.