Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Once in a While

I've been thinking a lot about yeast lately, which is something I never thought I'd think about a lot. Different strains used to create different effects in beer. The amount of variation is staggering.

This is true not only of yeast but of all life. Even confining ourselves to this planet, as we necessarily must at this moment, there is tremendous diversity. Factoring in whatever else might be out there... well, it makes my head hurt.

* * *

The photo was taken from a train. The Pacific Surfliner, from Solana Beach to Anaheim. This is somewhere between Encinitas and Oceanside, can't say exactly where. Something about watching strangers live their lives while I pass by at high speed always gets me. It's the same when I'm in a car, particularly on a long road trip.

Every one of those people is a characters with their own story. Someone should tell that story. And if I can't know them, then I can at least concoct something believable in my own mind. Who is that bicyclist traveling south? What is her destination, and why? And who are the people walking in the opposite direction?

The photo captures a shared moment in these three lives that none are likely aware even existed. The bicyclist almost certainly has no memory of the walkers, and vice versa. Yet here they are, frozen in time for as long as the photo survives and there is someone to view it.

* * *

In an actual story, maybe they meet. The bicyclist stops to watch waves rolling in from the ocean. She says hello to the walkers and they have a brief chat. Maybe they never speak again, or maybe they become fast friends who get together once in a while. The amount of variation is staggering.

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