I always feel this familiar, overwhelming, laughter-birthing giddiness – the one underlying all my earlier memories of digging through insect-ridden soil and cupping – or, sheltering – wriggling, determined, tiny movement-makers in my hands. Of walking down suburban streets shrouded in trees whose blossoms seem to have been anointed with heavy, intoxicating sweetness by some invisible hand. Falling asleep amid the peaceful traffic of bees and ants and songbirds in my backyard, drifting off embalmed in the smokiness of barbecues, the faint drone of cicadas and lawn mowers, light breezes. Walking past the lapping and gurgling of light and water across stones in streams through forests – the sound of the spring breakup, the woods north of the city – lovely, dark, deep, filling up with snow, the still-frozen March lake. Easy wind, downy flake, and the death-dealing, serene finality of every gust of Canadian winter wind.
I often find myself worried over things whose lack would not realistically make me sad. I cannot claim to get the feeling I describe above from music. Nor from great, moving literature, or any area of formalized study. I do not find it in friends’ eyes, good dinners, the attainment of accomplishments. All my other “favourite” things are at best attempts to artificially induce this. They remain, albeit somewhat pleasurable, ordeals, because none ever brings me here.
Here is the only state within which I feel completely certain.
Validated, I am forced to be wholly truthful to every part of myself. I am powerless to contain it; I am powerfully convinced that I wouldn’t want to anyway.
Here, I resonate.
This feeling is brought on, all at once, by:
- My little cat mewling and rolling spontaneously, happily across the floor, striped fur ruffled, eyes wide
- The fragility and complexity of an insect traversing my hand
- The feeling of entering water. Of penetrating and embracing a lake, suspended in cool water with small fish under a scorching sun. Or of standing knee-deep in a warm sea at sunset, hair skin and senses salt-coated, one with wind sand and stars.
- The moment during which I raise my head to watch a bird and feel that I have followed my own gaze into lift-off, into the delirious, burning blue – that I too am supported by air and surveying the ground, climbing sunward, tumbling through sun-split clouds, wheeling, soaring, swinging. High in the sunlit silence, hov’ring there. Flinging myself through footless halls of air towards – I always loved John Gillespie Magee Jr. – the high untrespassed sanctity of space.
- The appearance of horizons at sunset: they seem to nightly meld into one promising, unexplored darkness – Marlow’s biggest blank? – lining the entirety of Earth.
- The smell of dew and rejuvenated Earth on humid summer mornings.
This sentiment is what I live for. This feeling catches me on the best and worst of my days. It creates cause for contentedness when contentedness is far, and is the cause of contentedness when contentedness is near. I have always wanted to at least qualify it, to work towards understanding its core, to find a way of exploring its attainment.
Though I don’t know much about here, I know it always begins with the universe, with life, with endless forms most beautiful. This is why I study science.
What is this mass of text, though?
I learned long ago that I cannot creatively write. My mode of expression is suited to, if anything, technical work, though I wish I really could paint pictures with words. I’ve tried to borrow some others’ – you may’ve noticed – to really express what I’m trying to say.
Perhaps I could approach illuminating emotion if I wrote in Czech. Though the sound of the wind and the smell of the cedar and the essences of everyday sounds remain best defined for me within the confines of that language, I have met and made my greatest influences in this one, so I choose to write in it.
I make no attempt at poetry. My mode of expression is suited to, if anything, technical work, though I wish I really could paint pictures with words.
To ensure that I have not here missed the point, here it is again:
This is my personal statement. And, I think, a most intimate love letter.
Though it would not be of interest to any graduate school admissions committees or Romeos, nothing matters half as much.