Monday, February 22, 2010

The Night I Saw Indigo

This is not the sort of blog post I would normally write. My goal is not to deliver any opinions on anything. I just want to try to share this scenario with you. Please bear with me.

I left the campus television station and started walking toward the dining hall. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to eat tonight, but as I crossed the road to the sidewalk that leads down the side of the hill, I noticed that something felt very odd. I started to look around me. It's been very mild in the area lately, and the temperature's been hovering around freezing for the last few days. As such, when I went into the studio, all of the snow had been gone for a few days, and it was still light out. When I came out of the studio, a barely noticeable layer of white had appeared on the green grass. The sky was still barely lit, like that shade of indigo that your elementary school art teacher tried to describe to you as the shade the sky is right before it gets dark, but you could never really get the full grasp of it because there was no representation of it on the six-pointed color wheel she used in class. Tonight, indigo finally made sense.

Along the path, I noticed that the lampposts from the sidewalk further up the hill were shining down on the snow on the hill next to me. The snow had an eerie glowing effect, not sure if it wanted to reflect the white lights above me, the yellow lights further down the path, or the green grass still trying to peek through. The sight of the grass in this state was suddenly accompanied by a scent. It smelled like the first day of spring, but not quite yet. Something was barely restraining that sensation from reaching my nose, but I couldn't identify what. I spotted the occasional snowflake falling around me, but I heard the sound of raindrops falling, yet neither fell on me, because the tree cover somehow only protected me and my path.

I reached the bottom of the hill and got on the brick road that leads to the dining hall. Here, tiny, waist-high lampposts shined bright white lights on their surroundings, including the snowy hill I had just descended. I was now surrounded by buildings, by life, but yet the feeling of unfamiliarity remained. As I approached my destination, all I could think about was "Taps".

I've always imagined this perfect arrangement of the song, which starts out with a male quartet singing the words (and yes, there are words to Taps). In this case, it would probably be just the second verse, Day is done, gone the sun / From the lakes, from the hills, from the run / All is well, safely rest; / God is nigh. The tenor sings the verse as a solo, with the bass, baritone, and lead singing a simple chord progression after each phrase. When the tenor finishes, the others hold out their final chord while the tenor and lead start humming "Amazing Grace" from the same spot. Normally, this arrangement continues to be a cappella, but tonight I heard a soprano saxophone sneaking into the background, improvising freely between lines. A light drum beat, maybe gentle bongos, joins in, and the symphony is complete.

Perhaps the song only makes sense in my own mind, but this arrangement establishes a sense of calm in me. "Taps" is generally a morbid song, played only at burials and military ceremonies, but here it's reassuring, comforting. It says, even though we may be going through miserable times, there's still hope. There's always tomorrow. Keep going. Suddenly, the uncomfortable luminescence of the snow is soothing, and the falling rain is warming. As "Amazing Grace" carries on, it picks up in speed, not to the point of cheeriness, but to enlightenment. Everything's going to work out.

Anecdote aside, these last couple of weeks have been very difficult for me, and I see things continuing to slide downhill for the next couple of weeks as well, but somehow I know that in the end, it'll be alright. I've got friends and family to encourage me, I've got a plan in mind for handling what's coming, I think I'm going to be alright. If you're the praying sort, please pray for me, and if you're not the praying sort, pray anyway, it's good for you. I'll be sure to keep you all in my prayers as well, and hopefully this story has helped to boost your day or someone's around you. We're all in this together. Everything's going to work out. Keep going.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That was beautiful. My day was just this side of stressful, but this definitely made it much better. I agree with you that things will get better, and I look forward to when they do.