On song and voice of sour note carried as to port alike,
Drift the ships both rakish and and at once built sturdy of hull,
All full and by to my dear home of thought, my heart of hearts.
A timbre struck—not brass nor skin nor spruce, but sounds divine,
Those ships of noble envoy bearing wheat and grapes and marble,
Or used to subvert force in tender ear, to sway, deceive—
Is heard sublime in ecstasy of perfect recognition.
The whole story of the universe is implicit in any part of it. The meditative eye can look through any single object and see, as through a window, the entire cosmos. Make the smell of roast duck in an old kitchen diaphanous and you will have a glimpse of everything, from the spiral nebulae to Mozart’s music and the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi. The artistic problem is to produce diaphanousness in spots, selecting the spots so as to reveal only the most humanly significant of distant vistas behind the near familiar object.
—Aldous Huxley. Philip Quarles in Point Counter Point ch 19. 1939.
And when it’s all that you have to follow, it’s easy to turn back, compulsive, laying wast to what little you own—and looking forward, eyes watered, bemoan the presence of the road. But it’s the way of things that no road ought to exist.
To pass this thought is a rite; to stare until we see horizon and set foot on hard-packed earth.