w: ajleon

Alternative History

The glow of an early and rising Sun peaked over the horizon on the shores of Islamorada, and began to pepper the waves with radiance from the higher countries. And, for the first time in my life, it occurred to me, the world could have been a cold and dark place.

My custom is to rise at about four thirty each morning, spend a couple of hours reading and doing a bit of exercise, then sit outside with pen in hand, wherever I am. And jot down my thoughts as the sun blankets the foreign horizon of my adventures.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you from quite a few months ago.


“As I sit here on the sands of Islamorada, the Sun envelops the restless sea and a radiant glow thickens over the waves, I cannot help but think – this world could have been a cold and a dark place.

Imagine a sunset that flicked off like a television set, or a sunrise without a million gradients of pinks and yellows and blues.

Imagine if all the clouds were perfect squares, and if there were no animals that could fly or swim.

Imagine sand that doesn’t squish between your toes or shapeless trees that don’t sway in the evening wind.

Imagine if the Sun was the size of a walnut, and if the moon was pale and unfriendly and dim.

Imagine water that doesn’t ripple or cascade, imagine if mountains were as tall as palm trees and if rivers were no mightier than tear drops. Imagine if Niagra were a puddle, and if the Badlands were a desert.

Imagine a world with three colors and two shapes.

Imagine birds that don’t sing and crickets that don’t chirp and leaves that don’t glisten in the morning dew.

Imagine waking up to a cold and gray sky each and every morning. Not because the weather was bad. But because that’s all the creativity the Universe could muster.

Imagine a world with no rainbows. No heights to make us dream and no depths to make us wonder.

Imagine if stars spent all their days hiding behind a vicious sky.

Imagine if the poets had nothing worth writing about, and artists had nothing worth lifting a brush over.


The world could have been a cold and a dark place, and instead we get this.

Surely, someone out there, millions of years ago thought of all this, and surely He or It or She or They are a lover of art and of beauty.

And surely, the kinetic art of a sunrise was contrived to inspire and to embolden us.

To rise each morning with a purpose and intention.

And to deliberately emanate what music we possess inside of us to the farthest reaches of the part of the world we were placed here to light up. ”


Here’s a Monday morning thought for you to consider.

If art is only a human expression of the resplendence of the world we are blessed to inhabit, then maybe that explains why we take such pleasure and consolation in possessing the imagination to create things that never were.

Look around you, and consider this cold-pressed possibility.

Perhaps this isn’t just some game of cosmic chance.

Perhaps everything that has made this Universe such a glorious spectacle has washed itself, in ways unimaginable, over your life as well.

And perhaps you were meant to be here, right now, at this precise moment.

To imagine things as they never have been.

To help those placed in your reach in ways that only you can.

To imagine new horizons and colors and shapes and textures, and to try, with all of your might to bend the tiny threads of the part of the world you inhabit.

To ensure that this planet and the people you knew in it, were different in some way because you were here.


From the Lower East Side

Your Fellow Misfit,



Originally published in January 2012. 

665 words



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