Friday, November 6, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

I really don’t think it’s fair to claim the sun as the cause of skin cancer, just as it’s wrong to blame it for blinding us when we attempt to stare into its shifting heart. We’re the ones with the weak corneas, the compromised immune systems, after all.
     The sun just is.
     Or rather – was.

Helios, Hyperion, Titan, Phaethon, Phoebus, Apollo, Amen-Ra, Shamash, Surya, Old Sol – the seemingly-eternal, glowing residue of a clash of energies so colossal they’ve forged a universe in their afterthought, a universe in which we spin – hopelessly bound to our part in the cosmic detonation.

How can we point to the sun and blame it for our fragility in the face of life’s indifferent trajectory – when we owe everything, our very existence, to that dying orb lighting the heavens?
     It’s like the egg complaining that the hen is smothering it.
     Like referring to John Belushi as Jim Belushi’s brother.

We need to step back and acknowledge our humble posture in regards to what William Shakespeare called “the fire that severs day from night”.
     We need to envision ourselves – such tiny pink creatures, running the surface of the Earth – so vulnerable, so mercurial in our corporal vessel – we who, if left untended, would surely shrivel in the rays of the radiant battery that has given us life.

The sun ain’t a bad guy, not really, he just gets a unflattering portrayal every now and then – one that counters any previous positive image.
     Think of the cheery “Sunny”, the animated daystar who has toiled ablaze for William Kellogg since 1966, selling millions upon millions of boxes of Raisin Bran.
     Now think of the fiery ball of doom casting its orange-yellow pallor over London in the 1961 science fiction film The Day the Earth Caught Fire.

Where’s the parity?

Why such moody swings of definition for Milton’s “God of life and poesy and light”?

Milton, the English poet, that is – not the toaster in those old Pop-Tarts commercials.

I mean, really – in the blink of a watery eye – the sun goes from Adolf Hitler to Adolf Rupp – from Hannibal Lecter to Hannibal, Missouri – from Dick Van Dyke to Dick Cheney!
     Shouldn’t we reserve that sort of bi-polarity for the moon?

While the plenilune brings upon us the werewolf, a teenage Michael Landon creating the tides – making your girlfriend feel uncomfortable in her skin – the sun is busy banishing the vampire, warming the oceans, putting a happy smile on that special face.

Respect the sun, praise it if need be – let it power your home, lighten your hair, darken your skin – but leave it alone – let it be.

Give it not a face, lest it turn on you.

Here comes the sun, doo da doo doo
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's alright…