The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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It’s the end of another day, the sky is just about dark, and the moon or Venus might already be visible. You’re walking towards the west, along a road going over the top of a minor elevation. Hopefully you have a flashlight, because you’re not in the city. Everything around you is dark and murky and quiet. And yet, you notice something through the bare tree branches, far off in the distance. A faint red-orange glow outlining the silhouette of the western hills. The last bit of fading light from the day that just ended. Goodbye to another day. You’re reminded of the line from the poem “Today” by the Victorian English author Thomas Carlyle —

Out of Eternity this new Day is born;
Into Eternity, at night, will return.

When I was younger, I felt a “twinge” in my mind from sights and thoughts like that. It was some sort of a deep reverberation about the essence of life, something to do with the pure feeling of being. Your eyes might even start getting just a little moist. Whatever happened to that feeling? Where did it go?

The other night I was taking an early evening walk, and I happened upon such a scene. I stood there for a moment beholding it. And I almost felt the “existential twinge” once more. I wondered it if was OK to feel anything like that, surrounded as I was by a world in a pandemic. Despite all of the bad news coming at us almost constantly, I still felt something of a sentimentality for the passing of another day. Goodbye May 13th, or whatever it was that we called you. Thanks for letting me be a little part of your story, and thanks for becoming a little part of my own story.

Let’s take a look at the lines from Carlyle’s poem that follows the famous “Eternity” couplet —

Behold it aforetime, no eye ever did:
So soon it forever from all eyes is hid.

There’s something about the transition from day to night that evokes a sort of un-named emotion. Even the word “twilight” has an almost mystical air about it; it would sound profound even if you didn’t speak a word of English (I think).

Here’s a pic showing the purple twilight of a different day, taken from a different place. I hope that you too have had moments like this when you have felt “the twinge”.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 4:24 pm      
 
 


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