Big Sur Invocation

At dawn its majesty is almost painful to behold. That same prehistoric look. The look of always. Nature smiling at herself in the mirror of eternity.

Far below, the seals bask on the warm rocks, squirming like fat brown worms. Above the steady roar of the breakers their hoarse bark can be heard for miles.

Were there once two moons? Why not? There are mountains that have lost their scalps, streams that boil under the high snows. Now and then the earth rumbles, to level a city or open a new vein of gold.

At night the boulevard is studded with ruby eyes.

And what is there to match a faun as it leaps the void? Toward eventime, when nothing speaks, when the mysterious hush descends, envelops all, says all.

Hunter, put down your gun! It is not the slain which accuse you, but the silence, the emptiness. You blaspheme.

I see the one who dreamed it all as he rides beneath the stars. Silently he enters the forest. Each twig, each fallen leaf, a world beyond all knowing. Through the ragged foliage the splintered light scatters gems of fancy; huge heads emerge, the remains
of stolen giants.

My horse! My land! My kingdom!” The babble of idiots.

Moving with the night, horse and rider inhale deep draughts of pine, of camphor, of eucalyptus. Peace spreads its naked wings.

Was it ever meant to be otherwise?

Kindness, goodness, peace and mercy. Neither beginning nor end. The round. The eternal round.

And ever the sea recedes. Moon drag. To the west, new land, new figures of earth. Dreamers, outlaws, forerunners. Advancing toward the other world of long ago and far away, the world of yesterday and tomorrow. The world within the world.

From what realm of light were we shadows who darken the earth spawned?

Henry Miller, 1969. The Henry Miller Reader, red. Lawrence Durrell. New York: New Direction Books.

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