Sunrise blogging begins…

now, with a pink horizonal swelling that tells me and the person in a folding chair on the beach that the thing is about to pop. I’m watching, jammied, on the balcony.

The burning circle rises – fast – over the pewter sea. A container ship glides across the path the sun’s making on the water.

All the way up. Took less than a minute.

There’s the usual cheering section: Gulls, crows, joggers, policemen in light blue shorts. Praying section? I figure the guy on the beach is at the very least meditating

Me? I’m thinking I will never really believe the universe of which the burning circle is apparently a teeny teeny teeny teeny part… Ever since I was eight everybody’s been showing me diagrams of the solar system, and I don’t really believe that either… Everybody’s been impressing on me the awesome massive violence out there while giving this particular place a pathetic spin… And as to spin: I’ve never really been able to feel the rotational breeze, as it were, on my face… If you know what I mean.

I mean, as Buck Mulligan puts it in Ulysses:

When I makes tea I makes tea… And when I makes water I makes water …

Squinting my brain to see The First Three Minutes is one thing; leaning my arms on a railing and feeling the sufficiency of sun earth and moon is another. Gimme that old time cosmology. It’s good enough for me.

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8 Responses to “Insta-Rise”

  1. MattF Says:

    Are you quoting Jolie Holland? If not, or even if, here she is:

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    MattF: My source is earlier and a bit more enthusiastic:

  3. Shane Street Says:

    WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;  
    When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;  
    When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;  
    When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,  
    How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
    Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,  
    In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,  
    Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

    Walt Whitman. Total balderdash, of course.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Why balderdash? Beautiful.

  5. Shane Street Says:

    Oh beautiful, sure. Memorized it when I was sixteen. Just narrow minded and anti-intellectual.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Do you really think it’s narrow-minded and anti-intellectual?

  7. Shane Says:

    Yes. First, the Poet does not just prefer to enjoy nature as nature, he specifically rejects the scientific knowledge of nature. It makes him “tired and sick.” In fact, our mathematical understanding of the universe is elegantly beautiful and miraculous. Second, his narcissism vaults his “feelings” over any other kind of knowledge. This is solipsistic (“I wander’d off by myself…” rather than sit with others to share in the knowledge) and unreflective (“How soon, unaccountable….”).

  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    But couldn’t it be just a moment – a moment in a life of plenty of intellectual curiosity and seriousness, but nonetheless a moment – when the sheer mystery of the universe strikes a person? Whitman has plenty of praise for scientists – and other intellectuals – throughout his work. And as to not sitting with others — Whitman is the most social poet I can think of…

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