Flying over Sao Paulo

Sunday morning, on the plane to Lima. It’s probably 6:30 or so.

Sao Paulo from the sky in the morning. Incredible. Massive. Dense. We’re flying over the high-rise area of the city. The sun catches the lego-block buildings at an angle, illuminating them, giving them a dimension beyond 3-d. They rise through the mist, glowing, like crystals in a cluster.

We’re moving through the clouds and mist now, so the city is almost invisible. I wish I’d been able to photograph the city from the sky. I’m becoming more and more interested in aerial views. There is such art in the view from the top. The textures, the light. Seeing the world as a whole, from a vantage point, instead of up close, nose-to-nose, getting only a macro view. Well, micro view, really, as in a small, narrow view, a tiny piece of the whole, yet a macro view nonetheless, as in a small view, enlarged, to take up the full area of vision, which obscures the bigger picture. Obscures how it all fits together, losing its sense, losing its context.

Seeing Sao Paulo from the air turns it into a work of art, a sculpture. And each day it will be a new sculpture, as the quality of light changes, as it’s approached from a different angle. And so it is with life, isn’t it? Approach it from a different angle. Get a different view. Change the light – shine it from the side; from the other side. Think about it from a different angle.

Ranj showed me a story in a book he’s reading. Three blind men are sent to find out what this strange creature is outside their village. One comes back and says that it’s like a giant vine. Another says it’s like a pillar. The last one says that it is long and flat. Each one is correct, but not one of them is completely correct. They argue, cannot agree, and end up never speaking to one another again.

Each one saw only a small part of the elephant, and so couldn’t comprehend the magnificence of the entire beast. But we all see the world differently, and so struggle to comprehend the vision of another. We need to lift up, rise above, look down at the whole picture, dip a wing and tilt slightly to the left, then a little to the right, marvel at the picture from an angle, see its art. Paint the torch across its flanks, illuminating areas we don’t normally see, allowing new forms to tease our sensibilities. Maybe then we can comprehend each other’s view of the world.

And then Sao Paulo slips away. Clouds and mist shroud the world below. We’ll be flying over Peru soon.


~ by ReluctantRunner on May 16, 2008.

2 Responses to “Flying over Sao Paulo”

  1. […] over Sao Paulo May 16, 2008 – 12:39 pm | marcemig Escribio un articulo buenisimo hoyAqui hay un pedazo del articuloSao Paulo from the sky in the […]

  2. You did it again. How peaceful it is to travel with you through your writing. I needed some of that peace tonight…the dog rolled in something gross…I wrote about that on my disorganizedorganizer site…yeah, I needed to visit your site for that peace…keep sharing…I also love the pictures…what a world we live in!

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