“The atmosphere grew so rarefied that to breathe was painful; ever and anon the blood rushed to my head, but withal a certain rapturous sensation was diffused throughout my veins and I felt a species of delight at being so high up above the world. A childish feeling, I admit, but, when we retire from the conventions of society and draw close to nature, we involuntarily become as children: each attribute acquired by experience falls away from the soul, which becomes anew such as it was once and will surely be again.”
“in order to abstain from strong drink, he naturally endeavored to convince himself that all the misfortunes in the world are the result of drunkenness.”
To be shelterless and alone in the open country, hearing the wind
moan and watching for day through the whole long weary night; to
listen to the falling rain, and crouch for warmth beneath the lee of
some old barn or rick, or in the hollow of a tree; are dismal things –
but not so dismal as the wandering up and down where shelter is, and
beds and sleepers are by thousands; a houseless rejected creature. To
pace the echoing stones from hour to hour, counting the dull chimes
of the clocks; to watch the lights twinkling in chamber windows, to
think what happy forgetfulness each house shuts in; that here are
children coiled together in their beds, here youth, here age, here
poverty, here wealth, all equal in their sleep, and all at rest; to have
nothing in common with the slumbering world around, not even sleep,
Heaven’s gift to all its creatures, and be akin to nothing but despair;
to feel, by the wretched contrast with everything on every hand, more
utterly alone and cast away than in a trackless desert; this is a kind of
suffering, on which the rivers of great cities close full many a time,
and which the solitude in crowds alone awakens.
Ch. 18 – pg. 137
THIS is what I mean and THAT is what you think.
How can these two things ever be linked?
When I say blue, you argue it’s green.
How can you ever know the color that I mean?
What can I say to make you see?
What can I do to make us agree?
These words don’t work to show you the way,
Rather they help keep meaning away.
What can I do, what can I use?
How can I keep from being obtuse?
For your meaning too I neither can see,
For your meaning too is wrapped in mystery.
Must we accept that we’ll never see,
Outside of our own realities?
So always alone in a separate isle,
What company but solitude to keep us the while.