“The Absolute and Marvelous”

October 22, 2018

An absolutely lovely passage out of Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire:

Is this at last the locus Dei? There are enough cathedrals and temples and altars here for a Hindu pantheon of divinities. Each time I look up one of these secretive little side canyons I half expect to see not only the cottonwood tree rising over its tiny spring—the leafy god, the desert’s liquid eye—but also a rainbow-colored corona of blazing light, pure being, pure disembodied intelligence, about to speak my name.

If man’s imagination were not so weak, so easily tired, if his capacity for wonder not so limited, he would abandon forever such fantasies of the supernatural. He would learn to perceive in water, leaves and silence more than sufficient of the absolute and marvelous, more than enough to console him for the loss of the ancient dreams.