DAYS 35 & 36: 6 Full Minutes of Gazing

sunset with branch
Brian Hogan

I gazed at sunset yesterday for five minutes and fifty seconds, and then again this morning for six full minutes! Six full minutes. And it was every bit as intense as it sounds, both of the last two sessions were. Last night and this morning I was skating on thin ice, gazing at the brightest edge of the safe hour and the difference was clear as day, pardon the expression. Yesterday evening the sunset was at 7:43pm, but from my vantage point in West Hollywood I have to gaze at 7:01pm or I lose the disc behind buildings. Even though both times are in the safe hour the degree of brightness between 7:01 and 7:37 (when there are six minutes of sun left) is like night and day (again pardon the expression, the sun has me delirious with punlight). And this morning I slept in, getting over the last vestiges of a cold and laziness so I had to wait for the sun to rise above the buildings in West Hollywood, but still catch it before 7:03am, when the safe hour would be over. There was a thin ray of hope I’d find the perfect window to gaze, sun of a gun. I had been sunset-up for failure. All puns aside though, I did manage to find bare earth facing east and gaze for six full minutes. 

But things haven’t been cozy and thrilling like they were in the beginning, they have been bright and strong and almost adversarial. I read an article recently about the gazing which recommended you put your hands around your eyes so that as the light enters into your optic track it is passing through your own electro-magnetic field. That sounded logical, if even as yet untested, and since the sun was off the charts bright I employed that technique these last two days. I surrounded my brow with my palms, not obscuring my view of the direct ball of fire at all, and the brightness became slightly more tolerable. The constant pulsating and involuntarily blinking began to subside and I felt myself entering into the sun like I had in the past. It went from sounding the alarm to inviting me inside for hot tea and sun chips. I guess it didn’t recognize me at first, after all it was so bright I also found it hard to see. 

My eyes aren’t yet ready for the bright outer edge minutes of the safe hour. How will I master fifteen minutes of gazing, or forty-four? My eyes wanted to go screaming for cover at five minutes fifty seconds, and they tried yanking themselves out of my face at six minutes to jump to their deaths five feet four inches below on the sidewalk. I put my hands around my brow again and was able to talk them back off the ledge and into their sockets, but it was a close call. 

SIDE EFFECTS: It has been harsh again these last few days. I am having trouble keeping my face relaxed and my eyes opened.

BENEFITS: I have received numerous comments this week about how bright, white, and clear my eyes are. And I still feel more clear headed and less anxious, even though the last few days have burned with stress the way the sun was burning my eyes. 

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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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