December 22, 2004

Our Eyes Have Changed

The short days of December are abruptly conquered by a stronger foe. The sky is lit by a reflecting base of snow causing me to see, for once, the blank branches of the maples against a pale sky, a sort of ghost-summer. The odd hue of the sky is the color of vampire’s skin tinged blood-rose. The branches circle in the shuttering wind; I open the window and the cold is surprising. My ancestors knew not such embittered temps for Ireland is embraced by the moderating sea.

Such weather details enthuse. I read Updike & Percy for derivative experiences; I cannot mine the unmineable and write of frolics in Access databases where the fields are of the unnatural variety. Blood, turnip. But to seek adventure for writing is folly! Writing is byproduct pure & simple. The act of creating, a poem especially, can be a maneuver similar to running awol in a field of seven-foot corn: labyrinthically satisfying.

Mark of Irish Elk posts G. K. Chesterton:
Religion has had to provide that longest and strangest telescope - the telescope through which we could see the star upon which we dwelt. For the mind and eyes of the average man this world is as lost as Eden and as sunken as Atlantis. There runs a strange law through the length of human history - that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility. This is the great fall, the fall by which the fish forgets the sea, the ox forgets the meadow, the clerk forgets the city, every man forgets his environment and, in the fullest and most literal sense, forgets himself. This is the real fall of Adam, and it is a spiritual fall. . . Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed.

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