September 28, 2002

Obscura

You stand in a dark room gazing down at a round, concave surface perhaps five feet in diameter. On the surface is the ocean, revealed in a slow pan.

It’s like watching a film. But this isn’t a film; it’s a reflection of what you would see at this moment if you stood on the roof of the building looking through binoculars and ever so slowly turned, taking a full minute to complete a single rotation.

First there’s the ocean. Then the beach. Then trees. Then the buildings behind the building in which you stand. And then the shore on the other side of the building. And then the ocean again, and across it.

There are birds above the waves. From the shore these birds are too small to be seen. But here they are plain. Birds above waves.