About a week ago, I was inside the Fine Arts Building for work study. My job from 12 to 3 on a Monday afternoon consists of maintaining the printmaking studio room 303. On Friday, I work from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the other room, 305. One Friday in 305 as I sat by the table with my headphones in my ears listening to my iPod, I noticed the back door that goes out to a balcony. Around noon, I cropped open the door with one of the chair stools and immediately got a feel for the outside breeze. At first I was hesitant to go outside because I didn’t know if it was safe or if I would get locked out. However, I decided to leave my iPod behind in the room and ventured down the long balcony. The balcony was mainly plain, but had a few randomly placed chairs and a wooden coffee table towards the far end. The balcony stretched across the length of a room and was on the third floor. What amazed me was the view. I could see Parker Theater, students walking through campus, the gym parking lot, the gym, and especially the colorful trees surrounding all of it. Towards the edge of the balcony was a clear view of Mohonk Mountain and the rest of the Shawangunk Mountain range. The mountain was like a painting; each tree drenched in a different color as bright and beautiful as a rainbow. This sight put a smile on my face and so I decided to stay outside. As the sun came up, I sat down on one of the chairs and hanged my legs over the small coffee table. I closed my eyes and meditated as I took in the sun. The sun was strong enough to warm my body and blind my face. I took a deep breath and just sat in the chair thinking.
I could hear the steady gust of wind, the voices of people, cars driving by, birds chirping and squirrels scuttling. When I stood up, the cars and the people seemed like toys from the height. When I left the balcony, and went inside I felt that the happiness that came from being outside faded. I sat for the remainder of the time near all the printmaking devices and placed the headphones back in my ears. I was once again surrounded by technology.
Very revealing. It's true we need solitude and contact with nature. But it's also true that the contact is kind of unnatural, something we have to schedule in. Weird, right?
I know that feeling, it's almost as if the nature and the world is spooky. We are always comforted with technology.