Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big and Small, at the same time


To say that something is big and small at the same time is to equivocate. But to feel small and become aware of limitless possibilities: that is what art does.

Yesterday, I saw some amazing pictures of stairs at Talespinning that did just that. Go over now and look at those photographs and see if you have the same reaction, especially to the first one, where your eyes follow those old stone steps upward and when the steps stop abruptly, your eyes are directed to the sky. I found myself holding on my breath as I looked at the photograph.

I felt small.

What am I when I consider the stones, and the power and time it took for them to come into existence? And the steps: how much work and strength and skill that had gone into making the stones into steps? And that unending vastness that uplifts and humbles we call the sky.

Small and big simultaneously? Yes.
Me: small. Possibilities: big.

Have you felt like that?

9 comments:

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow, thank you for the shout-out, Yat-Yee. I'm honored. I am also so pleased that you saw that in the first photo. It is what I was aiming for--the sense of stepping into an unknown vastness.
In fact, I hadn't thought about it until now but it reminds me of one of my favorite last lines in a book (darn, it's not Monday!), which is in Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass:
"So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky."

Yat-Yee said...

Oh good. It's always nice to know when I "get" what the creator intends. And I will include your line in the next GLAM because it doesn't need to be Monday to post your lines. Thanks!

Lady Glamis said...

Awesome post! Both posts, actually. I've felt that way before, yes. For lots of reasons, but mostly with my religion I can feel that way. :)

Bish Denham said...

When walking on old steps, particularly stone steps that have been around for several hundred years, I always get a strange feeling thinking about all the people, all the feet, that have gone before mine.

Yat-Yee said...

Michelle: I know what you mean by experiencing this phenomenon through your faith.

Bish: me too. All those untold stories and heartaches and joys...

lotusgirl said...

I like this thought. Nice pictures. Stone stairs move me.

Davin Malasarn said...

I absolutely love this feeling. I've tried to describe it in stories before, but I've always felt like I failed. So many people assume feeling small must be a bad thing. For me, the experience came most often when I was camping and sleeping under the stars. Sometimes, I could feel that distance between planets and the universe felt so large.

Yat-Yee said...

Lotus: there is something about stone steps, isn't there?

Davin: Maybe it's because we can still be stuck at toddler stage where the universe revolves around us and so how can we be small?

Kelly H-Y said...

You bet! You captured the feeling well!