But now, as I sit at my desk and write these lines into this virgin notebook, I am puzzled. My perspective has changed, and I cannot help but feel as if I have just recently come into the world, that I am seeing everything in it for the first time and have a newborn’s curiosity about everything around me. My previous life seems absurd, ridiculous, unrelated to me as I am now. The idea of somehow commemorating this change in the form of a diary, which some time ago I would have regarded as strange and arrogant behavior, now inspires in me an equally strange and possibly arrogant confidence.
I remember how my new life began.
I was walking at the beach. I remember having a reason for taking that walk, though I do not now remember what its purpose was. I was just walking on the sand and gazing at the ocean as I went along. Then I stopped for a moment, took a deep breath, and closed and reopened my eyes.
Suddenly, at that very moment, I was filled with an incredible, all-embracing sense of peace and serenity. All sounds ceased, leaving only the silent presence of the boundless ocean merging with the infinity of the sky. It was as if their combined power and vastness, their unexplored, blissful expanse, had been revealed to me for the first time.
With great excitement I took a few hesitant steps forward. I felt that I had grasped something that until that moment had been slipping away from me irrevocably. It was as if the frame through which I had viewed the world had first widened and then disappeared entirely. Without parameters, there was only eternity—not just the word or the concept, but the experience of eternity itself.
I have no recollection of how long this feeling lasted, though it seemed as if an age had passed, but gradually the elation of the moment subsided. I was still there in my entirety, in this place of unimaginable beauty and vastness; but, as if by fatal necessity, the everyday world, with its apparent constraints and boundaries, reasserted itself. I felt the reflected rays of the setting sun on my face being replaced by the gray cloak of night, gradually embracing the earth, the sky, and myself until the last glow of the sunset had nearly vanished.