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Exultation is the going…

April 9, 2020

43 of 47

“Exultation is the going

Of an inland soul to sea,

Past the houses — past the headlands —

Into deep Eternity —

Bred as we, among the mountains,

Can the sailor understand

The divine intoxication

Of the first league out from land?”

By now, (after a whole Month!), we are sick of it. Including sick of the cliche of being sick of it. And we think of just being with others. Oh I see others, even have distanced, safe, visits to active building sites. (The Governor has declared “design” an “essential activity”) and a few, distanced, safe, meetings, with much hand sanitizer and 2 meters of air between us. And, of course, endless live Internet meetings, calls, texts, posts, etc.

But we always want what we do not have.

Thoreau sequestered intentionally at Walden. Emily Dickinson just did. For 30 years, and spoke of “The divine intoxication…Of the first league out from land…”. I go to the Barn every morning in silence for an hour or two.

But we all, now, are told to do this. Then regaled in the horrific stats or the effusive exhortation of the heroism of doing nothing. We are watching watching ourselves. It is now not scary if we heel to The Protocol. Even at the site visits. And the supermarket. And getting the tiny anointing of gasoline we now need.

The distraction of our enforced distraction kills the joy of expression to things like this: one-way or completely filtered monologued dialogue. Friends on an international ZOOM call of ZOOM callers yesterday agreed there is a special emotional exhaustion for those of us who are not Henry David or Emily.

This is a week of being together, whether you believe in God or not, then a month of Graduation and Reunion whether you hate school or not, then Weddings, whether you have lived as a couple for years or not. All cancelled.

The Spring of our isolation is bizarrely shared in the oxymoron of human connection beyond physical limits. In non-Sequester Times we defied history and went straight to the reality of Faith that many cannot deny, despite the trappings in this Passover and Easter interlude.

We can still do that. Emily and Henry David connected to things far from their isolation and became intimate with untold millions who hear them from the dead. For me, these next days are spent hearing the dead more often. The life of the dead is real, because we hear them. Because they connect with us.

We have had to sail out to sea. But exaltation can be in the connecting.

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