cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well

maybe tomorrow

saint-guenole [47°49'0"n 4°22'0"w]

"i have boots," she said. "let us go," and she pointed to the tower of batz, which arrested the eye by its immense pile placed there like a pyramid; but a slender, delicately outlined pyramid, a pyramid so poetically ornate that the imagination figured in it the earliest ruin of a great asiatic city.

we advanced a few steps and sat down upon the portion of a large rock which was still in the shade. but it was now eleven o'clock, and the shadow, which ceased at our feet, was disappearing rapidly.

"how beautiful this silence!" she said to me; "and how the depth of it is deepened by the rhythmic quiver of the wave upon the shore."

"if you will give your understanding to the three immensities which surround us, the water, the air, and the sands, and listen exclusively to the repeating sounds of flux and reflux," i answered her, "you will not be able to endure their speech; you will think it is uttering a thought which will annihilate you. last evening, at sunset, i had that sensation; and it exhausted me."

"oh! let us talk, let us talk," she said, after a long pause. "i understand it. no orator was ever more terrible. i think," she continued, presently, "that i perceive the causes of the harmonies which surround us. this landscape, which has but three marked colors, --the brilliant yellow of the sands, the blue of the sky, the even green of the sea,--is grand without being savage; it is immense, yet not a desert; it is monotonous, but it does not weary; it has only three elements, and yet it is varied."

"women alone know how to render such impressions," i said. "you would be the despair of a poet, dear soul that i divine so well!"

"the extreme heat of mid-day casts into those three expressions of the infinite an all-powerful color," said pauline, smiling. "i can here conceive the poesy and the passion of the east."

"and i can perceive its despair."

"yes," she said, "this dune is a cloister,--a sublime cloister."

we now heard the hurried steps of our guide; he had put on his sunday clothes. we addressed a few ordinary words to him; he seemed to think that our mood had changed, and with that reserve that comes of misery, he kept silence. though from time to time we pressed each other's hands that we might feel the mutual flow of our ideas and impressions, we walked along for half an hour in silence, either because we were oppressed by the heat which rose in waves from the burning sands, or because the difficulty of walking absorbed our attention. like children, we held each other's hands; in fact, we could hardly have made a dozen steps had we walked arm in arm.

the left card represents an important element of the past. the lovers, when reversed: failure to meet the test. unreliability. separation. frustration in love and marriage. interference. fickleness. unwise plans.

the middle card represents a deciding element of the present. the high priestess: wisdom. sound judgment. common sense. serenity. objectivity. penetration. foresight. intuition. perception. self-reliance. emotionlessness. platonic relationships.

the right card represents a critical element of the future. page of coins: deep concentration and application. scholarship. reflection. desire for new ideas. a do-gooder. bearer of news.

"not hear it?--yes, i hear it, and have heard it. long- -long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days, have i heard it--yet i dared not--oh, pity me, miserable wretch that i am!--i dared not--i dared not speak!"

fifty years syne, when mr. soulis cam first into ba'weary, he was still a young man - a callant, the folk said - fu' o' book learnin' and grand at the exposition, but, as was natural in sae young a man, wi' nae leevin' experience in religion. the younger sort were greatly taken wi' his gifts and his gab; but auld, concerned, serious men and women were moved even to prayer for the young man, whom they took to be a self-deceiver, and the parish that was like to be sae ill-supplied. it was before the days o' the moderates - weary fa' them; but ill things are like guid - they baith come bit by bit, a pickle at a time; and there were folk even then that said the lord had left the college professors to their ain devices, an' the lads that went to study wi' them wad hae done mair and better sittin' in a peat-bog, like their forbears of the persecution, wi' a bible under their oxter and a speerit o' prayer in their heart. there was nae doubt, onyway, but that mr. soulis had been ower lang at the college. he was careful and troubled for mony things besides the ae thing needful. he had a feck o' books wi' him - mair than had ever been seen before in a' that presbytery; and a sair wark the carrier had wi' them, for they were a' like to have smoored in the deil's hag between this and kilmackerlie. they were books o' divinity, to be sure, or so they ca'd them; but the serious were o' opinion there was little service for sae mony, when the hail o' god's word would gang in the neuk of a plaid. then he wad sit half the day and half the nicht forbye, which was scant decent - writin', nae less; and first, they were feared he wad read his sermons; and syne it proved he was writin' a book himsel', which was surely no fittin' for ane of his years an' sma' experience.

thursday cxlvii bis

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