Unreal Nature

July 31, 2015

A Green Darkness

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:36 am

… It is in the mind that the flight commences.

This is from The Night Country by Loren Eiseley (1947; 1971):

… The fact that I wear the protective coloration of sedate citizenship is a ruse of the fox — I learned it long ago. the facts of my inner life are quite otherwise. This is how it began for me.

It begins in the echoing loneliness of a house with no other children, in the silence of a deafened mother; in the child head growing strangely aware of itself as it prattled over immense and solitary games. The child learned that there were shadows in the closets and a green darkness behind the close-drawn curtains of the parlor; he was aware of a cool twilight in the basement. He was afraid only of noise.

Noise is the Outside — the bully in the next block by whose house you had to pass in order to go to school. Noise is all the things you did not wish to do. It is the games in which you were pummeled by other children’s big brothers, it is the sharp, demanding voices of adults who snatch your books. Noise is day. And out of that intolerable sunlight your one purpose has been given — to escape. Few men have such motivations in childhood, few are so constantly seeking for the loopholes in the fern where the leaves swing shut behind them. But I anticipate. It is in the mind that the flight commences. It is there that the arc lights lay their shadows. It is there, down those streets past unlit houses that the child runs on alone.




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