The woman in the sun

Walking into the evening sun is a strange experience. The height of the sun collapses any depth perspective, reducing the world ahead to one of silhouette, as if you are moving from three dimensions into two. Collapsing the any notion of time, what you see ahead of you lacks the fatness of experience, and yet it walks towards you as inexorably as you travel towards it. It moves inevitably from potential unrealised to a sharp stab of reality as it rushes past you. It acts as actual and analogy, as what you see both is the future and is an uncanny representation thereof. As you view it from the now, you can look behind and see the fatness of the past, to the side to experience the breadth of the present, and yet the future is largely unrecognisable.
For all this, as you move forward and the future moves to meet you, it explodes into the present in such a way that, unlike those future events that you can predict in everything but their timing, it gives you no time to react.
She came out of the sun, simply a silhouette. She became a reality as we were perhaps a yard apart. She wore a look of some surprise, tempered by the fact that she had known this meeting, this passing, would occur for several seconds. She was waiting for, perhaps fearing, a response.
I raised an eyebrow in recognition as we swept past one another. Had I recognised her earlier, we might have stopped. Passed the time of day. We would have suffered that awkwardness where you simply don’t know what to say. And don’t quite know how to say it.
Perhaps it was always to be this way. The meeting was inevitable. It is perhaps poetic that, like Una, she came out of the sun. Perhaps instructive that I walked into it.
In reality, it was a trick of the light.
The world is experienced in silhouette, as if you are walking from three dimensions into two, losing your depth perspective as you press forward. It is a neat physical representation of the feeling of looking forward into one’s future. There are things one knows, one understands, one can predict with some measure of accuracy. These things always lack a dimension which keeps them from being real. They lack the reality they obtain from being immediate. They never occur as one expects, because one never knows when to expect them.

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