caelum terra firma

Some time ago (it was quite some time ago) I was encouraged to look up.

Poor posture I had, a tendency to slouch my shoulders, peruse the puddles.  This conveyed a dreary outlook, I was told.  I should walk with purpose, chin up, and this would brighten the world around me… and that of my bummed out companion at the time, wet rag of company I must have been.

(The early warning signs, they were.  I should have payed more attention, but that was then)

Now irony would have it that as I write these words, a gentle wobbling of the universe is afoot – I kid you not.  The dog looks up an instant before, and seems to take an interest, as dogs do that moment before the tremor.  And soon the whole place is wiggling just slightly.  The un-tuned banjo’s creepy twang as she pats the wall.  Terra firma belies herself, and this has me bolt upright at this moment, 8:08 PM Pacific Standard Time, October 27th, 2012.  Why would I lie?

So fine we’ll follow that tangent to another story of looking up:  December 19, 1995, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  About 2 AM.  I awake not knowing why, yet, and I’m looking up and pondering that inch-wide fissure up where the wall and the ceiling usually meet.  The universe is wobbling and the Tribe of Dog is unanimous in its alarm, an eerie wail rises from every street, the end is nigh.  Earth, being a planet and all, conveys a certain sense of solidity, which we puny humans tend to take for granted.  Most of the time.  This changes quickly should She twitch.  Maybe that’s why I look down?  Observance. 

I have stubbornly been a down-looking person much of my life, and this has served me well, I should say!  There are beautiful things to be seen when one looks down.  But I’ve finally come to admit it… trees, window cleaners, and the undersides of daisies all have their appeal as well.

The encouragement has finally sunk in.  I even made a book about it!  There are pages for words of your own, tremors or twitches, rumblings and such-not. Have a peek if you like:

Photos by me. Wor…
By Mike Ambach

And then tonight, just as I’m daring to lift my chin to these new possibilities, Earth trembles jealous.  She and the dog, twitching to dreams.

Up or down, I guess they both command some Observance.

photos by me, word…
By Mike Ambach

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