Have you looked at the sky lately? Of course you have. People do, but have you looked for a minute or more? Have you lingered? We’re talking a good long, long look, like a kid on a lawn staring straight up on a summer’s day. When’s the last time you did something like that?
Try this: Step 1) Go outside or look out a window; Step 2) Look at the sky.
If you can’t find a sky, pick something else: a parking space, chain-link fence, puddle of gasoline. If you can’t see the sky, listen to it. If you can’t listen to it, smell it. If you’re worried about time, count elephants or set a timer. If you’re worried about what people will think, don’t. They’ll look in the direction you’re looking to see what’s there. They’ll be confused and think, “I don’t see anything.” But you’ll know better.
If someone asks you what you’re looking at, you can point at the sky and say, “Look. Sky.”
Look at the sky for no other reason than to look. This isn’t for science. This isn’t a study in blue. Don’t try to relax. How do you do that? If someone says, “Relax!” people usually do the opposite. Don’t look for shapes. Don’t think about how the sky is infinity right there above your head.
You can breathe if you want to, that’s up to you. The point is that there is no point. Lose yourself in looking. Let your eyes take the sky into your brain for processing. The more you look, the more you disappear into it. You could even make sky watching part of your daily day-dreaming regime (see: Art of Day-Dreaming), but you don’t have to.
Imagine you’re a human or an American Robin – doesn’t matter. Imagine what you want. The trick is to look at the sky without getting bored. Do the best you can. Switch to brooding over a plant if you have to.This isn’t what most people would call exciting, but you’re not most people. You’re you.
You know how they have moments of silence for fallen soldiers? You could have your own moment of silence. Just you and the sky. And if you’re lucky, you could feel quietly thrilled by the life that’s all around you – or not, the thrill is what you will it to be.
Sky watching isn’t something normal people do, but then, who’s normal? Is anybody normal? You could be normal because you’re not.
As you look at the sky, you’ll probably have thoughts like, “This is stupid. What am I looking at? I’ve got things to do! Why am I doing this?” You might expect something special to happen, but nothing does. Nothing special happening is something special happening. This is it. This is the sky. This is you meeting the sky. The sky’s been there a long, long time and it’ll be there a long, long time after you’re gone, but you can forget all that. Just look. That’s all. Consider thoughts that deter you from looking the mental equivalent of buzzing flies around your food.
Whatever the politics or economics of the world, whatever good luck and bad luck gets thrown at you, it doesn’t matter because there’s a sky up there and there’s a you who’s aware. Feel yourself between. Realize that you are the one looking and feeling. No one else. Your life will continue on its merry way through thick and thin, good and bad, comfort and poverty and the sky will be there.
There’s enjoyment in looking at the sky, but you don’t need someone to tell you that. You know that you can enjoy the enchantment of the sky any time, day or night.