RISING FROM BELOW
It takes the Amtrak twenty-eight hours to reach New York from Miami and it is one fantastic ride. The train plunges through one vibrant collage of blue bays and green hills; colourful bridges, sunny cities, farm animals, children… while the train carries on in perfect harmony. All in all, the Amtrak’s rhythm is a beautiful catalyst to contemplate the ins and outs of a full day cycle.
The morning starts with the sun slowly rising behind the Atlantic. Hours slowly climb onto each other to later fall -from a clear blue to a burning red- as the Sun passes the hills towards the West. When the King and his cape of light had left and the world is in twilight, the Queen enters quietly, whispering life in subtle tones, hypnotically taking our souls into the depths of the unconscious, where we bathe away into oblivion, essentially preparing for the chance of a next day.
And so, the wisdom of the full day cycle dawns on us: a refreshed understanding to why every cultures reveres the Sun and the Moon. The infinite range of their romance holds the truth of every facet of life there exists to discover. They literally compose the limits of our range, they are the living interplay of the feminine and the masculine.
Throughout this cycle, bucolic memories slowly begin to surface. These memories dissolve and merge, to reunite and hold a uniform state of abstracted nostalgia; an emotion driven by the relaxed observation of nature over the percussive echo of steel wheels turning over iron tracks.
Soon enough, one begins to fall then into a particular trance; a sort of peripheral awareness under which one becomes an extension of the moment… and then, the sudden realization that we are, have been and will always be an integral part of this eternal perfect moment.
I imagined that within our DNA a quantum magnetic string was holding us all together, a sub-textual force working much like gravity, constantly striving to bring everyone back into the same path of least resistance. I imagined that maybe life itself is just a mere question of unity. A single effort to merge into this magnetic riddle, a permanent moment holding true understanding.
If such a thing was true, the trajectory of the train had to be in ascension, and at some point in the future, my train and the Sun will share the same path. I managed to construct the surreal day when the Moon would finally walk alongside the Sun, day and night together, the day when the King and the Queen would finally hold hands.
I was about to close my eyes. I had been sitting next to the window for a few hours by then, with my head reclined against the glass, absorbed in a web of thoughts. I remembered drawing a curved line on the window with my finger, an arc from left to right representing the Sun’s path. I then drew a second line slowly merging with the arc.
I must have fallen asleep moments after drawing these two lines. This quiet image stayed bouncing in my head for years to come.
Towards the end of the Mycenaean age, around 1,100 B.C., Icarus, son of Athenian master-craftsman, Daedalus, met his fate while attempting to escape the island of Crete, where father and son had been wrongfully exiled by King Minos. For this ultimate venture, Daedalus moulded wax into wings for his son, cautioning him not to fly close to the sun or else the wings would melt and he would fall to a certain death.
It is said that Icarus, as the magnificent journey unravelled, fell victim to the inebriating effect that the alchemy of physical prowess and pristine intellect has on men. He grew confident and consequently, ambitious. With the world already at his feet, he desired more. He sought to commune with the sun; him the Phoenix, Icarus rising above all things known.
The heat of the sun eventually melted his wings. Nobody else but Icarus knows with certainty if he did or did not touch the sun.
What we certainly know -and this we know from the depths of our souls- is what did draw him to pursue this presumably lost quest. It is hard to define the nature of this call as much as it is also, so terribly vivid and crucial. The Icarian Sea, named after our archetypal hero, is there to reminds us of the rise and the fall of he who signifies for many of us a determinant passage in the cycle of life.
If we are all like the sun, always rising up and always fading down. It is essentially because we are also like the Moon, always on the hunt.
The Ascent series’ intent is to remind ourselves that today’s warmth in our hand holds tomorrow’s latent fiery youth.
The same instinctive spark that pushed Icarus to rise above. The same courage within all of us to rise from below.