The Spirit That is in the Air (Thoreau)

A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air.  It has new life and motion. It is intermediate between land and sky.  On land, only the grass and trees wave, but water itself is rippled by the wind.  I see the breeze dash across it in streaks and flecks of light.  It is somewhat singular that we should look down on the surface of water.  We shall look down on the surface of air next, and mark where a still subtler spirit sweeps over it.


One response

  1. lovely way to try and coax our attention to another aspect of the familiar, a kind of showing in the saying if you will.

    After we’d walked for at least an hour,
    heading toward the Vatican
    on a broiling August day,
    I began thinking about how long
    the tour we’d signed up for was going to be,
    and how many sacred things would be on view,
    and how much complicated information
    the guide would tell us about the ancient paintings
    and Roman numerals and relics
    and tombs and holy knuckle bones.

    I knew it would all kind of just melt together
    and congeal into one big lumpen mass
    of guilt and suffering and miracles
    and gloomy old men in sandals.

    And as I was thinking this
    we were passing through a shady little square
    where a couple of bare-breasted marble nymphs
    were playing in the fountain,
    and there were no tour guides anywhere,
    there was no suffering or crucifixions,
    nor was there even one important name or date
    I would have to try to remember.

    And the cheap red wine at the sidewalk ristorante
    where we ended up spending the afternoon
    instead of going to the Vatican
    was wonderful, even miraculous,
    as was the spaghetti bolognese.

    “Really Eternal City” by George Bilgere

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