Friday, February 22

what are the lyrics of that Incubus song again?

sometimes you cannot see the traffic lights. the other cars get in the way, or there are glares from the late afternoon sun, or you've come to a stop at just the right angle behind a large truck.

this happens to me and probably to everyone. who knows why I have been noticing and thinking about it so much lately.

when you cannot see the traffic lights, you can also not see when they turn green again.

and since you cannot see them turning green, you are left to trust the traffic around you. if that truck in front of you moves forward, and the cars in the next lane are moving too, then you probably needn't wait to look at the light above that intersection. it is probably, at last, green.

all of this seems very allegorical.

doesn't it?

a few days ago I was struck that there is a difference between observable events and observed events. the things that happen may not be the things that I see happen. I cannot see everything. even if I and the collected world around me try--even if all of us tried to look and watch and measure and record the things we see happening, there will still be gaps between what we see and the whole of what is real.

maybe being aware of that gap helps somehow. but it also seems so wobbly, wandering around with flaws in our perception that as far as we know cannot ever be jettisoned.

so is all we can do look around, remembering the patterns in the lights we've learned so far, and trust the general direction of the traffic in the next lane? is that good enough?

(I wanted to include some driving pictures in this little post. maybe I'll come back and add them if I find the adapter card for taking photos off my camera-phone.)

3 comments:

Janeheiress said...

And then when you happen to observe something, how often will you actually acknowledge it? If you acknowledge it, how often will we interpret it truthfully?

How little of the world is filtered through our modest minds into wisdom/knowledge is, frankly, mindblowing.

Chris said...

Hold the wheel and drive. But oddly enough, I always thought A Certain Shade Of Green was about traffic lights too.

Are you going to stand around till 2012 AD?
What are you waiting for,
A certain shade of green?

In 1997, 2012 was I guess the unfathomable future.

amelia chesley said...

hmm. I don't think I have that one. perhaps I'll look it up.

all of the future is unfathomable, isn't it?

and yes-- so many filters. I don't know how anything really gets done. I guess we just do our best. life goes on.