You see, and you turn – that is the thing, which for a moment casts open the beauty of all the world – all concentrated, all of a sudden, in a single melodic line – and you want to turn to the person besides you and say, Look! Look! I have never been happy before – !
I think I never feel as lonely as when I see a beautiful thing, when I read a beautiful turn of phrase, when I feel for the first time the first snow, and I turn, and there is no one besides me to exclaim it to. Because in that moment my whole heart is exclamation – filled to the brim with those eternal questions – Do you see it too? Do you feel it? Can you hear this sudden flurry of wings, this earthed lightning? Do you hear what I hear, do you see what I see? And it is tragic, for no reason can close the gulf between two men – and perhaps, it is even more disappointing if the person besides you does not see, does not hear – or that you turn, and all you’re faced with is a stubborn blindness.
image source by chonquesha
I feel sometimes the entire essence of love is to spend one’s whole life turning and saying – look – here is the thing, the very thing, temporarily incarnated, temporarily dwelling as if at the centre of the universe – this one melody, this one angelic line, this one streak of white cut across the sky. And it is bodily felt, it shudders through you to the very bone, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh – and this is what it is to be one, or to yearn to be one with it. And in moments of grace I feel it, and the One I turn to is no other. Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh – you, who are my own, my very own, who have loved me from the inception of my soul, from the conception of my flesh, from the first flicker that fanned into the flame of me. And you are so ravishing, it is you that I see, in the sun and its water, in the trees and their skies – and every breath I draw is a miracle when I see you, for you are all I see.
And I need not turn to another, there is no one continually missing at my side, for I am not alone; you are beside me, drinking in all praise and all beauty, and I, radically decentred from my universe, in some nameless ecstasy – for you looked upon the earth once, and said, it is good, so very good – and this is all it is that is good and perfect and held completely in the thing of you! And you are my one hope, my one vision, my one passion, and my one sorrow, it is you I feel and long for, and it is to you that my thought tends, like a plant towards the sun. And nothing, nothing takes that place, that secret place that was ordained for you.
You are all beauty, and you are all light, and I am in awe of you. I do not know what you did to love me – to lure me, to seduce me with the utter otherness that is you. You are utterly and utterly you – I cannot but say it, for you are the utmost and I have no words to describe the thing that is, the thing that surely all the world is of – that huge thing beyond the thought of man, beyond my grasp, beyond my comprehension. You are that great foundation, that great back turned like a whale upon the waters, holding up the entire universe. I wish that you would be like this to me, that your absoluteness will always be before me, for I am always a creature between two gasps, gulping for air between lungfuls of grace. And I cannot make you You – O, only you choose to appear and disappear before my eyes, although my mind knows you are everywhere.
It is only in you that I am free – only you, only you, and I’m enthralled, enraptured, and I do not want to leave – I am captured and I would not be anywhere but here, because I know I’ll wander, Lord, I know it – for though you may show me your face, I walk away and in a minute it has left no trace. I want to bottle up this radiance, so I will always remember, because truly, there is nothing, nothing worthy except in you, and it was this that I was made to do.