Pure

The other day a thought came to mind. I was drinking a cup of water, and I thought “water must be the purest thing on earth.” I don’t know why the thought occurred to me, but then I considered the fact that people drown in water, Water can be used for torture, and there are all sorts of dangerous things that live and thrive in water from bacteria to man-eating sharks.

So, while I was preoccupied with one of humankind’s mundane but necessary tasks (involving a toilet), I set out on a quest to figure out what the purest earthly thing is. I determined that nothing is entirely pure besides God, since this is a sinful world, but I thought I might be able to think of something that came close.

I thought of air, but then I thought of all the pollution it has been tainted with. I realize that it might have been close to pure before humans tainted it, but air is just delicate balance of Chemistry that works only if the right amounts of harmful chemicals are combined in the right ways. Also, air, like the rest of the world has been effected by industrialism and commercialism. So I strove to find something purer.

I thought about the color white. White often represents purity in art and literature, but this image has also been tampered with. The color white can often invoke fear, a sense of emptiness and the general idea of cold and death. An example of this would be the white whale in Moby Dick and the white witch in The Chronicles of Narnia. The cliche image of a ghost is a white, semitransparent figure who haunts and terrifies its victims.

Then I considered the sky. I’ve recently started thinking of the sky as God’s looking glass. I love metaphor, and this seemed like a good one. Scientifically, the sky is just a bunch of layers of I-don’t-even-entirely-know-what that separates the earth from the emptiness of space. I always like to look beyond science though for the artistic meaning and beauty of things (partly because science confuses my brain). I believe no human artists could ever match what God has done. Sure, artists can make up new creatures or plants or places, but they will never be as perfect or real as God’s creation. They can never be brought to life. But I digress.

The sky is God’s looking glass. I thought this might be my answer, but I thought, “Well, the sky is part of the earth, so I guess that means it’s tainted like everything else.” Of course I was looking for the closest thing to pure, and I still thought the sky was a good answer, but I put it aside just to have a little fun.

Love seemed to be a perfectly logical answer, but then I remembered that people can love each other for the wrong reasons. I’m not sure if this makes love any less pure, however. I have never been in love, so I can’t say for sure, but I think true love is the same no matter what the reasons are for it. One also has to remember that God is love. This does not mean love is god, but I do think there is a measure of divinity in love. The problem is, love comes in many different forms. There is the love between children and parents, the love between/amongst friends, the love between partners/soul mates and the love one has for certain hobbies or possessions or pets. I think some of these types of love can tend to be purer than others, but since not all are pure, love as a whole concept or mindset is not. I think the actual word “love” gets misused or used too loosely, and that is part of the problem. I think the word gets used and overused as it does because there isn’t a sufficient synonym.

If one ignores the science of it (which I do), the sky is still the best answer. This is partly because I like my metaphor, but the sky also seems to be the least dangerous and the least tampered with by humans. We can’t stay in the sky except for with airplanes, and even then, we can only stay for a limited amount of time. The sky seems to be the emptiest expanse on earth, devoid of all but clouds and birds, and by itself, the sky can cause no harm to anyone, human or otherwise. It is an ever changing work of art that has no other purpose than to awe humankind.

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