Wednesday, March 27, 2013

chapter six | rather than words.

"Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless."

{ Philip Larkin }

This passage of Philip Larkin's poem High Windows -- and, to be honest, the only passage worth reading in that piece -- has always set my heart to aching and my brow to furrowing and my breath to catching in my throat. I feel that passage in my body the way I might feel a cough or a pang of hunger or a knot in my back.

When I was a teenager, I collaged those words onto the window frame of the highest window in my first apartment -- a window so high and so oddly shaped that I could see nothing from out of it but a slice of bright blue sky in the day and a splash of dark darkness in the night. I'm sure my landlord at the time did not appreciate my artwork when I moved (she was a real jerkface anyway, so that's fine) but I was able to feel my breath catch in that way in that smallest and most tender crevice of my heart whenever I so much as glanced upward.

Some words do that to you, don't they? Some words hurt you with their purity in only the most sublime way imaginable, and when you find them you feel undiluted awe and you are grateful.

Today I've been thinking of these words for the first time in ages, and I wonder why that is. Something new, in the distance but not so far into the distance, is approaching. And rather than concrete words, I sense that it is endless.

1 comment: