Saturday, March 07, 2009

Things That Will Make Me Burst Into Tears of Joy

1. Blue Whales. The National Geographic channel has a special on them beginning this Sunday, actually. They profiled the special on GMA last week, and just seeing that had me gulping and hopping around the living room. The thought of them both frightens and exhilerates me. I think I am just overwhelmed by the notion of such an enormous animal. I also have a completely irrational terror of depths, so I suppose the idea of such a massive animal finding a space of darkness and horror comfortable is just awesome. Number one top "To Do" dream? Swimming in that vast terror, submerging into the depths to share the space and even touch the side of a Blue Whale. And then probably drown because I am sobbing hysterically in my scuba gear. Like a foo.

2. Sage singing and playing her guitar. Who knew such a reserved, serious child could belt it out like that? If this is her at the beginning of her musical path, who can imagine where she could go with it. Just thinking about it takes my breath away.

3. Historical places...specifically, Westminster Abbey. Growing up in Kansas affords only a fraction of "history" in the human impact sense. Most of the old buildings have been torn down, and there's not much history past Old West lore, pioneering, and, of course, all the dead indigenous cultures from which we harvested maize and the naming of places we stole (see, Wichita tribe). So, travelling anyplace with a significantly deeper history than Kansas is bound to rock my world. For me, Westminster Abbey is one of the places that evokes a strong sense of history. All those dead kings, queens, and poets...I wasn't expecting to have such an emotional reaction, but I did.

4. The Grand Canyon. This is a different kind of history: Geological history that shakes me to the core. It evokes thoughts of events even more titanic and surreal, like Pangaea or the Valles Marineris (which, no doubt, would also make me cry). It is one of those things you really must see in person. Pictures are fantastic, but nothing compares to standing at the end of it and staring into eternity. It is very quiet, except for the wind, and it is very hard to take the experience lightly.

5. The National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., specifically, this:
When my friend Bryan took me there when I visited him several years ago, I am not sure what I thought I'd see. Somehow "museum" just didn't get through my thick skull, because I really didn't think what I was seeing was the "real" thing. We were looking at this capsule when I made some brilliant observation about how remarkably real it looked (corrosion, burn marks). My friend gave me the look you reserve for the most softheaded people you know and gently explained that it was, in fact, THE REAL THING. While I didn't bawl hysterically in the middle of the damn museum, there were tears. Again, there was the historical relevance, but in this case it tapped in to one of my great loves: space travel. Ask me how many times I've seen The Right Stuff. A hundred million times.

6. Landing in Wichita after a long time away, looking down on the city and knowing so much of it like the back of my hand.

7. The crescendo moment/emotional endings in...

--E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. The moment when Elliott discovers E.T. is still alive is also the moment I entirely lose my shit.
--The end of the 1983 movie Without a Trace. It's basically 10 minutes of near-hysterical crying.
--The end of The Color Purple. And if you don't cry at that, then I just don't know what.

8. Quiet, sweeping views of Earth from space. I mean, look at it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sage is touched that you would say such wonderful things about her!

I agree, she's amazing!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Shiny said...

Please tell my snickerdoodle happy birthday, OK?

9:14 PM  

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