Profondissima quiete

[Sunrise with Sea Monsters - JMW Turner]

It's grey and brown here. The branches of the trees and the vines interlaced between them recede into a tangled blanket of drab. It's raining also, with the slow mist-rain that forms more a veil of water than a sprinkle or shower.

I brought Magic Mountain home with me, as well as Mallarme and Leopardi, and I am ensorcelled. There is a black cat sitting in my windowsill, (and now precariously close to the keyboard), Emily Haines is playing in the background, and it's quiet elsewhere.

I found this yesterday, I wish I could know it in Italian:


I've always loved this lonesome hill
And this hedge that hides
The entire horizon, almost, from sight.
But sitting here in a daydream, I picture
The boundless spaces away out there, silences
Deeper than human silence, an unfathomable hush
In which my heart is hardly a beat
From fear. And hearing the wind
Rush rustling through these bushes,
I pit its speech against infinite silence--
And a notion of eternity floats to mind,
And the dead seasons, and the season
Beating here and now, and the sound of it. So,
In this immensity my thoughts all drown;
And it's easeful to be wrecked in seas like these.

Leopardi (trans. Eamon Grennan)

So many times have I been there, so many times have I been obliterated by space and by time, standing in awe in front of the sea, a gust of wind, a great vista, a perfect phrase of poetry or music. And afterwards? The sediment of experience settles back on the soul/spirit/mind, and the mantle of "I" is resumed.