Sunsets have always grabbed my attention. Many people see them as signaling the end of the day. For me, they are the bringers of the night, but more important, they open my eyes.
Sounds a little silly, but, the night is full of many amazing things to see and hear. There are sounds, stars, the moon, lights, living things, almost all of which, can only seen at night.
The night sky opens our minds to the immensity of the Universe. As the sunset colors fade through twilight, and afterglow, the distances of the Universe open the consciousness for those that gaze upon the deeps. The very closest thing we can see at night in the sky, is the 238,857 miles away moon, and we can see way beyond that. The most distant object visible to the naked eye is M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 2 million light-years distance.
In between those two objects is a huge space filled with untold, and unimaginable, objects. That huge space is only a minuscule portion of the Universe.
How can looking at such things not open our minds?
This image is only a representation of my favorite possession. As you can see, this image is of an unsharpened pencil. And, you may wonder, how can a pencil, nothing more than graphite bound in clay wrapped with wood, be a prized possession?
Where people are often told that the eyes are the windows to the soul, I can say that a pencil physically connects me to the time line of humanity. It connects me to the history of the ancients. Any stylus for imprinting information on a clay tablet could be used to transfer thoughts through the ages.
Even more important for me than the past that the pencil represents, is that the pencil represents my ability to speak to humanity far into the future.
With, or without, conscious thought, a pencil applied to a carrying medium can transport our thoughts forward through time. Today, I write these words. Tomorrow, I post these words. These words can be read through countless tomorrows for the entirety of mankind’s existence.
You, reading this now, may be a member of the iReport bootcamp, you may be reading this while I am still alive. Or you may be my curious great, great, great grand niece a hundred years from the time of this writing. Far enough into the future, you may live on another planet. If all who read this story look deep enough into your minds you may catch glimpses into that future, or that past, that this story is a part of.
I used a pencil, but I am a photographer, a videographer, why not use a camera, or video with sound to express this thought? I choose the pencil as a symbol. A pencil is common to most of humanity today, and its function can easily be recognized ten thousand years ago, or ten thousand years into tomorrow. Only the concept that the symbolic pencil represents is important.
I chose the unsharpened pencil because, even unsharpened, it is full of promise. And, like a mind full of promise, until the pencil is sharpened it is just a stick.
Our minds, when sharpened and conscientiously put to use with conscious thought, can transcend the mundanity of the mud we came from and move mankind to the stars of humanities tomorrow.