Saturday, March 08, 2014

Selene and Endymion -- a Saturday reprise


"I am sensual in order to be spiritual," writes Mary Oliver, in her little book of miscellany, Winter Hours. I was thinking about her remark the other evening as we watched a huge tangerine moon rise above the silver sea. It was one of those moments so perfect in its confluence of attributes that nothing needed to be said, a moment when even a writer recognizes that the most articulate expression is silence. The moon bubbled up out of Exuma Sound and all the phantoms and false gods fell away. "Praise this world to the Angel," says the poet Rilke. "Do not tell him the untellable...Show him some simple thing, refashioned by age after age, till it lives in our hands and eyes as a part of ourselves. Tell him things. He'll stand more astonished."

(This post originally appeared in February 2007.)