I see the mountains in the sky; the great clouds; and the moon; I have a great and astonishing sense of something there, which is “it” - it is not exactly beauty that I mean. It is that the thing is in itself enough: satisfactory, achieved. A sense of my own strangeness, walking on the earth is there too: of the infinite oddity of the human position; with the moon up there and those mountain clouds. Who am I, what am I, and so on: these questions are always floating about in me.
God forbid that another should ever live the life I have known here and yet there are moments you know, old Boy, when after a dark day there comes a sunset—such a glowing gorgeous marvelous sky that one forgets all in the beauty of it—these are the moments when I am really writing—Whatever happens I have had these blissful, perfect moments and they are worth living for.
Putting my hand in someone else’s has always been my definition of happiness. Before I fall asleep, often - in that small struggle not to lose consciousness and go into the greater world - often, before I get up the courage to go into the vastness of sleep, I pretend that someone has my hand in theirs, and then I go, go to that enormous absence of form that is sleep. And when even after that I don’t have courage, I dream.
“Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.”
- Kurt Vonnegut
These letters and syllables we play with are like the gritty heads of comets—miniscule in mass, but vivid in the luminescence that surrounds them. Why does a comet have a fiery tail? From the impact of plasma as it nears the sun. At the outer reaches of its orbit, a comet is a cold, sluggish conglomerate of interplanetary gravel. But then it plunges toward the light, to contest its speed with the field of the sun that locks it in a long ellipse. The stony nucleus stirs to life, whipped around the sun by the lash of gravity. Words can be comets, carrying bright clouds of context, signaling to us with a glow of multiple meanings. They splay out from the near weightless nucleus of syllables, challenged by a force field of ideas, made radiant by the impact of thought. Leaf through the bulk of today’s mail: drab constellations of expected and smog-dimmed stars. Why not write in letters of fire? We need events in our literary sky. Astonish us with the coming of a comet.
Robert E. and Lucy Lee
Page 1 of 7