Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Become A Transparent Eyeball

I haven't thought about this for years, and for no reason I can point to, it popped into my head. In Tenth Grade English, my teacher, Mr. Jimmerson, who was a total hippie, read it to all of us. It's a (very) short essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, with the title "Nature." I could be wrong, but I think I've also seen it referred to as "Crossing Boston Common."

Way back then when I was sixteen, it left me baffled. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. And that central image, the "transparent eyeball," got me all caught up, thinking of a cartoonish big thing with all those red capillaries and the nerve stem coming out the back...

But now, all these years later, I know what old Ralph Waldo is talking about. I guess that's what Tenth Grade English is all about. If Mr. Jimmerson is out there somewhere, I hope he senses some good vibrations that I'm sending out to him tonight.

Anyway. Here 't'is...

Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball-I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me-I am part or particle of God.The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances-master or servant, is then a trifle, and a disturbance. I am a lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I have something more connate and dear than in the streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.

1 comment:

Mikko said...

Aaaaah, 10th Grade English Class. I remember it well as though it were yesterday. Miss Hansen. Lovely Miss Hansen. (Remind me to tell you my personal story about this teacher. Moste revealing.)

I went to Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, Long Island, NY. This town was home to Walt Whitman. Whitman's writing(s) were heavily influenced by Emerson. Though we did touch on Emerson in class, we had greater influence of Whitman's works.

I love that essay by Emerson, too. And, I get it. How I love to stand in the middle of a crowded room or party and get lost in thought and become a million miles away. I also treasure all of those moments witnessing NATURE at its best, ... the sun shining on mountain peaks, valley shadow hues changing with autumn leaves at sunset, becoming speachless at a waterfall for minutes, standing in the middle of a snowfall and looking up and feeling the flakes fall on your face. Those are some of my personal favorites. And, holding the hand of a lover and not speaking while walking but still communicating with each step. How I love to get lost.

Greetings from the Upper Peninsula!