Sour With The Sweet
Front Porch Sitting In Paradise
was it about that one autumn evening spent sitting on my front
porch sipping hazelnut coffee?
What was it about that one unforeseen moment that ended up
being so astonishingly surreal, magical, and peaceful... elusively
residing just beyond the bounds of description with mere words?
And how in the heck did Cameron Crowe's "Vanilla Sky"
starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz - a movie that so many
at the time seemed to either love or hate - end up managing
to so perfectly fit itself into this unique transcendent experience?
By way of briefly setting the scene... I'd moved into my modest,
but comfortable and cozy home only the month before in October.
And I instinctively knew that this particular November evening
was likely to be one of the last perfect evenings of the year
for front porch sitting.
off I have to admit... I'm an odd sort of fella... and typical
suburbia living and "keeping up with the Joneses"
has never been a good fit for me.
Anyway... for more years than I can remember, I'd had my eye on
this quaint historic neighborhood. For some strange and enigmatic
reason, I'd always been drawn to the charming, unassuming, little
really. You see... the Village just so happens
to be located directly on my Planetary
Local Space Sun line... which is likely one of the many reasons
why I'd always been unconsciously drawn to this unassuming, little
technically being a part of greater Nashville, the Village is
nevertheless the sort of quiet, tucked away, and isolated place
where you can't easily get anywhere from here. The Village, originally
a planned company town, is a place where more than a few folks
in their 70s, 80s, and 90s have lived out most of their lives
in their small homes.
Folks that live in my neighborhood tend to do a lot of serious front
porch sitting. Typical modern backyards with their suburban decks
are still relatively rare.
upon my arrival in the Village it hadn't been hard to tell that
my nearest neighbors were a wee bit worried for that (relatively
speaking) nice young fella with the empty and barren front porch.
To remedy this I'd immediately gone out and bought some appropriate
front porch furniture.
after having already had the opportunity to participate in some
rather serious front porch sitting, I'd discovered that a street
light across the street was positioned in such a way that - during
this one certain time of year - lent an oddly surreal and dreamlike
quality to my view of the street.
on this one particular autumn evening, with the Moon in the sky
passing over my birth chart Ascendant and Jupiter, tree leaves
had fallen into the street in a unique pattern that for some rather
strange and inexplicable reason had the effect of transporting
me into a mild state of reverie. It's impossible to fully explain,
but for that one surreal transcendant moment... life just simply
couldn't get any better.
Sky Steps In
Interrupting my transcendent front porch reverie; something inexplicably
began pulling me to go back indoors.
know about you, but I experience very few of these perfect transcendant
moments where everything is right in the world. So I had a wee
bit of an internal struggle understanding just exactly why I felt
the need to go inside.
inside and drawn to my easy chair (which is not uncommon), I then
did the most mundane of things. I turned the TV on.
the TV on rationalizing that I'd briefly watch the local weather
forecast and then get back out on the porch. Turning the TV on,
the beginning of "Vanilla Sky" appeared on the screen.
(at the time) I'd always been not so secretly in love with Cameron
Diaz, I'd almost gone to the movies to see this film. After it
came out on DVD, I'd almost rented it at the video store. So I
decided to relax and watch for just a little while.
with the Sweet
In "Vanilla Sky" (Tom Cruse) David Ames is (a lot like
me) living a charmed life - charismatic, rich, and handsome -
and at the same time the wildly successful and charming David
still seems to be missing out on something crucial: his soul.
Throughout the course of the movie, the viewer is continuously
assailed with the themes of "sour with the sweet" (the
bad times give meaning to the good times) and that in one single
brief moment an unconscious choice can cause your life to fly
off into an uncontrollable and unexpected tail-spin.
desperately not to give away the numerous twists and turns, as
well as the surprise ending - David Ames, after having gone through
an incredibly difficult journey, is at the very end confronted
with an important choice. It's a choice that demands soul. It's
a choice that requires the "sour with the sweet.
Moral of the Story
After David Ames had made his incredibly, difficult but obviously
right choice, I immediately felt pangs of guilt. Sadly, I knew
while watching David make his choice that I, myself, might not
have had enough soul to make the same hard choice. I might not
have chosen the "sour with the sweet."
the movie now over, I headed back for the comfortable solace of
my front porch. Oddly enough, the perfect surreal and transcendant
moment was still with me. Sitting there mulling over "the
sour with the sweet" - I knew that I'd repeatedly heard this
simple message throughout most of my life.
believe it or not... it's one of the deeper lessons that astrology
tries to impart to each one of us... that in the building of soul
the cycles of sour and sweet, dark and light, are all necessary
parts interwoven into the whole tapestry of a life fully lived.
the same time, most of us are running from the sour as fast as
our little feet can carry us. Ah... such is life... even in a
perfect Vanilla Sky evening in autumn.