We don’t know California

For as a bat’s eyes are to daylight so is our intellectual eye to those truths which are, in their own nature, the most obvious of all.

Aristotle

One of the magical things about living alongside the Pacific is the marine layer, a cloud of mist that takes over the coastline, usually in the mornings. Go a few miles inland, and the sun is shining bright. Wait a few hours, and the sun will burn off the marine layer, revealing the spectacular blue of the Pacific. But while the marine layer is at its peak, the California coast is covered in fog. If you arrived on one of these mornings, and left before the marine layer dissipated, you’d think Southern California was one big cloud. That the rumors of sunshine were just that. Rumors.

That’s exactly how we as a society experience the world. “If you condense the history of the Earth — about 4.6 billion years — to just one year, humans have been been here for only about 23 minutes of that one year.” We have occupied Earth for less than .000001% of it’s existence, yet we make grand proclamations about how it works.

For some, the collective scribblings in the human notebook have ruled out God.

How sad.

Our observations are useful to live in the world, and I will run to them when I am sick, or in need of transportation, or even a recipe. But I also fight to keep them in perspective as written in crayon.

The perch of humanity is small. We don’t see as far as we think. We’ve lived our entire lives inside the marine layer.

We don’t know California.

We’ve never seen it in the sunshine.

Leave a Reply