The Smudged Sun by Mayank Chhaya
The sun was an amber smudge this morning. It seemed reluctant to rise. The diffused light gray clouds seemed to abet its truancy. For a while it appeared as if it might say, “Fuck it, why should I rise?” and slide right back into the glassy horizon.
To think that I saw and imagined all this on a ride back home from my bank, where I had gone around 6.30 a.m. to deposit some money, says something about how fecund my mind is in the morning. The digital artwork above was accomplished in all of five minutes.
One has always been conscious of how chancy our existence is, but with age that awareness looms ever larger on the horizon. Perhaps it was that realization that was smudging the sun out. I did contemplate the prospects of the sun actually not rising this morning. Of course, when one says rising it is an entirely anthropocentric view. There is no actual sunrise. It is the earth’s revolution around its perceived axis and orbital movement that make us feel as if the sun is rising.
The sun does what it does. It just burns itself out with no particular regard for what it means to a trivial little writer eight light minutes away. What I was looking at was entirely from our earthly vantage point. The sun was not an amber smudge, nor was it really diffused by the clouds. It was just that I was here looking at it through a screen of light gray clouds. My reality, while real for me, was only very partially so. It did not change anything for the sun.
We all carry our own reality and try to match it with that of the others. More often than not they match. Equally frequently though, they don’t. That’s the way it is. Speaking of conflicting realities, the bank’s reality was that there was no money in my account. So I had to square it by depositing a little bit.
The point is had I not been compelled to step out this morning by the depletion in my bank account, I may never have seen the amber smudge that was the sun over the Naperville sky this morning. And I would not have been able to write this pretentious little post. Since we are all made of star stuff, can I then blame the sun for the state of affairs in my life? I can because the sun does not really care. It just burns unaware of what it has created and what it is destroying.