DAY 7: 1 Minute & 10 Seconds of Gazing Part II – The Sunset

a sunset in LA
Brian Hogan

I watched my first sunset tonight since the gazing adventure began. Nikki and I, and our friend Johanna made our way to the beach this afternoon, plopped ourselves down on some beach chairs in the sand near a small cafe playing tropical tunes and waited for the white hot ball of fire to settle down just above the ocean so we could gaze. The pile of clouds that blocked the brilliant blistering ball from our eyes this morning were nowhere to be found now. We had a clear view of the vista of sand and ocean all the way to the sun. As it hovered low just above the horizon it began sinking faster, as if all of a sudden the sun realized it was late for a dinner date and started rushing. So I quickly set the time for one minute and ten seconds, we dug our bare feet deep into the sand and began our gaze. Our friend Johanna gazed as well for her first day and braved the blaze for a daring twenty-five seconds. 

I am starting to realize that the tranquility that pervades me after each gaze is almost immediate and happens every single time without fail. The sun was white hot when we arrived to the beach around 4:30, and it became a flickering candle glow of deep gold by the time we were chasing it with our eyes as it sank below the horizon. The gaze felt more substantial today for me, I think due to the lengthening sessions. Seventy seconds is brief in the scheme of things but it feels like a long time to stare at the sun. More happens the longer I stare. The sun opens itself to me. Each day when I stare the brightness fades away after a few seconds and then a pulsing ball of inviting warm hearth light is left floating in the sky, almost taking on the appearance of a slightly brighter version of the moon. 

About halfway through the gaze the sun began to change. It started to become transparent, as if it was no longer a ball of fire deep in space, but a puncture in the sky, a window into an entire universe on the other side of the cobalt sheet that covers us, and you can enter that other universe from the hole up there that we call the sun. The yellow light recedes and it is as if that disc is a perfectly round hole that has been cut out the fabric of our sky and the bright yellow is light emanating from the other world that is pouring through the hole. 

Again it was hard to look away. It take as much discipline to break my gaze once I begin to look as it does to get myself to the hilltop in the morning in the first place. As we drove home from the beach we were being cradled by the usual giddiness. Watching the sun rush off to his other appointments was a great way to spend the day named after him. This isn’t just any Sunday. It’s the Sunday that we caught a glimpse into another world. 

SIDE EFFECTS: I noticed today that I am actually eating less. Not less junk food necessarily, but much less often. I have breakfast and then I don’t even realize I am hungry and should eat again until late evening an easy ten to twelve hours later. This is has been happening for a few days but I only just became fully aware of it tonight. 

BENEFITS: A surge of tranquility and giddiness passes from the sun to me each and every time I gaze. 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.

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