Friday, January 11, 2013

Young and In the Way - I Am Not What I Am

I Am Not What I Am (2011) cover art

"I stand in awe of my body, this matter to which I am bound has become so strange to me. I fear not spirits, ghosts, of which I am one,—that my body might,—but I fear bodies, I tremble to meet them. What is this Titan that has possession of me? Talk of mysteries!—Think of our life in nature,—daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it,—rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we?" (Thoreau, "deep within the hostile ranks of clouds" on Mt. Katahdin)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Falls of Rauros . . . Tol Brandir

Falls of Rauros

"'Behold Tol Brandir!' said Aragorn, pointing south to the tall peak. 'Upon the left stands Amon Lhaw, and upon the right in Amon Hen the Hills of Hearing and of Sight. In the days of the great kings there were high seats upon them, and watch was kept there. But it is said that no foot of man or beast has ever been set upon Tol Brandir. Ere the shade of night falls we shall come to them. I hear the endless voice of Rauros calling' . . . The day came like fire and smoke. Low in the East there were black bars of cloud like the fumes of a great burning. The rising sun lit them from beneath with flames of murky red; but soon it climbed above them into a clearly sky. The summit of Tol Brandir was tipped with gold. Frodo looked out eastward and gazed at the tall island. Its sides sprang sheer out of the running water. High up above the tall cliffs were steep slopes upon which trees climbed, mounting one head above another; and above them again were grey faces of inaccessible rock, crowned by a great spire of stone. Many birds were circling about it, but no sign of living things could be seen" (J.R.R.  Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring).

Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
The middle Tree and highest there that grew,
Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true Life
Thereby regain'd, but sat devising Death
To them who liv'd
(Milton, Paradise Lost, IV.194-7)

"But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness" (Isaiah 34:11)