Ambling down some relatively unbeaten paths on the internet recently, I stumbled upon a gem of a site that is short on words but long on meaning.
If you’d like a good chuckle and some inspiration, read on.
Charmingly titled Here & Air, the ostensibly carefree but also deeply thoughtful website is the cyberspace home of a beautiful, exotic-looking, twenty-something woman named, of course, Carmelisse (with a little accent mark over the first “e” that I can’t seem to replicate with my word processor). She says she’s going through a “quarter-life crisis,” during which she’s trying to find herself by aimlessly wandering — and wondering — about the world.
Still, there’s a lot about her that’s very precisely aimed.
Although her website seems to characterize Carmelisse as a stereotypical 1960s free spirit who asks everyone she meets their astrological sign (she’s a libra, by the way; I’m a cancer), her site is full of famous and not-so-famous pithy quotations that are pointedly about the here-and-now real world, not the airy/fairy unreal one.
One of her blog pages, titled “Quotes That Changed My Life,” is totally worth visiting for its humanist, Enlightenment-infused advice. Here are several of the offerings:
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare
Not that the site’s devoid of spirituality, but it’s the kind composed entirely of material wonder in the here-and-now, not in remote nether beings and regions far beyond human accessibility.
Another page, titled “10 Quotes That Will Change The Way You Think,” incidentally evokes perhaps the least religious of historical prophets:
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” — Buddha (italics mine)
Below this quote, Carmelisse offers her take on its meaning (as she does for many):
“Lesson: It’s okay to get angry, but after a while, you just gotta let go of that anger. Otherwise, the only person you’re hurting is yourself.”
The entire site is designed to be light, airy and unadorned, symbolized by its thin-stroke, san serif type fonts. But in the simplicity is wisdom. And beauty.
If you want to feel the wonder and beauty of the real world for a few minutes, I highly recommend a short vacation on this site, which actually began as a kind of travel log.
But after a while, Carmelisse said, she felt it needed a more personal purpose. Initially, she started her blog as a way to show people the wonders that await them in the world — “and encourage them to see for themselves.”
Noting that travel blogs are a dime a dozen in the blogosphere, she decided to transform her blog into “a place for inspiration. A place for others to relate, connect, and feel a little less alone.”
I feel better about the godless universe already.