I was standing in the rotating rooftop restaurant of the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel, gazing out the passing windows and the moving cityscape beyond them. One of the buildings across the way had mirrored windows and was reflecting back a fragmented image of the Hotel I was in. In that moment I felt a strange mix of fragmentation and wholeness; as I stood inside a moving cylinder-shaped room, looking out at the image of the exterior of the space I was in reflected back at me in the fragmented mirrored windows across the way…it was like I was part of a spinning planet at the center of the whole universe, and at the same time, that planet was made up of pieces of something, that was a piece of something else. My mind went blank as I lifted my camera and captured the moment. Reflection upon reflection upon reflection, spinning and turning, a whole with parts of another whole…
I remember walking along the base of the Tetons’ and seeing the rays of the setting sun striking a giant cloud formation in front of me. I stopped dead in my tracks as the beauty of the sight filled my being and for a brief moment I was breathless. The giant cloud looked like an anvil.
There was something strange and wondrous about the juxtaposition between the fluffiness of the cloud itself and the heavy-mass-related anvil form of its shape. Several other people stopped and gazed up at the cloud. Some of us took photos, some just stared up silently, and others conversed about the sight they were sharing. For a few moments, we were a community of beings joining together in a shared mystical moment of beauty and grace. Then the shifting light of the sun, the currents of the wind, and the movement of the clouds began to transform the anvil-cloud back into just another cloud. The shared state of grace dissipated as well, and we all returned to our separate paths.
As I walked away and looked around me, I couldn’t help but wonder about the permanence and impermanence of any image or form…and I felt as though I had briefly touched the edge of formlessness. Deep gratitude and wonder filled me as I pondered the seemingly random string of simple everyday events and choices that brought me to this moment.
*Image: Anvil Cloud by MAK