The longest-lasting rainbow was recorded in Taipei, Taiwan on November 30, 2017. Scientific observers tracked it for 9 hours. The previous record, I believe was for 3 hours in Wales. Hmm. But if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it? There are probably longer lasting rainbow – just unobserved.
Here’s what impressed me about the description of this meteorological event: “Sunlight passing through rain and moisture in the air create the phenomenon, but only when viewed from the correct angle.” My imagination-fed mind envisions countless rainbows, unseen, hiding behind misty layers. Or seen to the perceptive heart. That’s being poetic and not scientific you say. Yes, I hear you. Thoughts can be rather loud.
So the ‘angle’ is all important. The angle (perspective) contributes to our understanding. Angle… attitude… perspective… The rainbow blooms through the physics of mathematical precision.
(To enliven my sense of mathematical precision I think of the “Dance of the Little Swans” – the pax de quatre – in Act 2 of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Witness the temporal perfection as four ballerinas, with cross-linked hands, perform dizzying and precise footwork: YouTube link. Oh, not just footwork but tilt of the heads coinciding delightfully with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. By the way, the critics tore apart this ballet when it debuted.)
Oh, how to transfer such rainbow perceptivity over to raucous, demanding humanity? We’re a suspicious bunch oftentimes and sadly credulous other times. We’re credulous to the beauty of a meteorological sky painting. Behind the beauty lies optical laws.
(By the way, who hasn’t heard their parent say they only want the truth. My father convinced my sister and me – well, me at least – that he could ‘always tell if we were lying’. )
Attitude encourages insight and insight increases perception by opening the mind’s aperture.
Aperture – think “a hole or an opening through which light travels” (Wikipedia). For the eye, the pupil is the aperture, letting in light. For the mind, attitude can regulate the flow of understanding, insight, re-action. This is my non-original theory and until I let in more light, is the best way I can explain all of this. Now ‘attitude’ as the angle is the glass half-empty, half-full deal. I’d love to be able to secure for myself (let’s start there) an attitude of receptivity, compassion, forgiveness, even-minded acceptance, unconditional love… Trying, keep trying – that’s my soft-spoken motto.
As a young girl, I read C.S. Lewis and his Narnia series. It’s remained one of my most beloved reading experiences. Narnia is a remarkable country discovered by curious children poking through a ‘magical’ clothes wardrobe. In the final volume of series, The Last Battle, our heroes spill into a dark stable where some gloomy, negative characters are crouched by a dimly flickering fire. The ‘heroes’ see that the stable has an opening to a expansive and welcoming world – a reconstituted, reborn Narnia. No matter how much the heroes call to the gloomy ones, they cannot or refuse to see the vista. Hmm, this is certainly attitude closing the aperture.
Attitude + willpower. A formula that feels like a truth, or Truth, doesn’t it? Ok, let me step off the soap box… for a time.
Alright, I fibbed…. so allow me to tell you about a scene from the film Kate & Leopold. (Another fantasy/reality stretch which debuted December 2011. The 9/11 attacks occurred 2 months prior. If you see the film you’ll see a pre-9/11 NYC. ) After spending a night with his beloved Kate, Leopold is told by Kate’s brother to “wait before pushing the button” – the dishwasher’s “On” button. He should wait, of course, to impress his girlfriend Kate of his chivalrous considerations. The premise being, “If a man washes a dish and no one sees it, did it really happen?”
You tell me. Or don’t. To comment or not to comment, that is up to you, dear reader.
From record-shattering rainbow to getting credit for washing dishes. This is my mind. A circus of improbable acts.