Thursday, August 21, 2008

What If I Don't Have Enough Awe?

I realized something today--actually while on the toilet.

You know....I tend to do my most important thinking while on the toilet or in the shower.  What's the deal with that?   Maybe I think best with my pants off?

Who knows.

Back to what I was thinking about....

I realized I'm scared to see big and beautiful famous things of nature.    Examples would be Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Grand Canyon.

I'm scared to go, because I'm afraid I won't love them enough.  

I worry I'll stand among the tourists with their flashing cameras.   My companions will be wiping away tears of joy.   They'll say Dina, isn't this amazing?

What if I don't find it amazing enough?

What if I have to be all fake.  Oh, it's wonderful!

I read Bill Bryson's book about Australia and he talks about how he wasn't at all excited about seeing Uluru.  He had seen the image so many times, that he was pretty much sick of it before he even got there.   But once he was there, he totally loved it.   Uluru was like some kind of amazing experience for him.

What if it's not amazing for me?   What if all I see is a big rock that changes colors?   What if to me it's no more amazing than the Laser show in Stone Mountain Georgia?

I do get excited about things in nature.    Maybe it works better for me when I have low expectations.

 Last night, I was walking upstairs to go to bed, and through the windows on the staircase I could see the moon.   I think it was a full moon--or almost full.   I had no idea it would be there and I was in complete awe.   The moon was so bright and beautiful.   Plus, the reflection from the glass did some weird thing and it looked like there were three moons.   It was awesome.

I yelled out to Jack.  Come here!  Come here!

He came and gave the exact same reaction I fear I'll have if we go to Uluru.   He said something like Cool, and then rushed back upstairs.

I called to Tim who came and put out a little more enthusiasm.

I don't know.   Maybe I just prefer the little things in life--the stuff that's not well known or famous.

My dad used to joke about it.  He'd tell stories of everyone else watching the elephants taking a bath at the zoo.  And my camera would be pointed at a squirrel.

I think one issue is I don't like crowds of tourists.   It ruins it for me.

If I could be alone (or almost alone) at Uluru, I probably would love it.

But all the talking and the cameras clicking bothers me.   Sometimes I get this sense that people don't even  truly care what they're looking at.   They're just taking pictures so they can brag to their friends at home.   

I think I prefer climbing up the sand dunes in Port Stephens.   They're not spectacular or amazing.

They're not famous.   They're not on a postcard.    But they're pleasant and rather beautiful.   Best of all when I went there, I was usually completely alone.    I loved that.