Wednesday, March 11, 2009
My Picks for Best Books in March.....
The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air. When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as we think of a rabbit with its fur on. Stubbs may have envisaged the skeleton inside the horse, but most of us do not: and we do not usually envisage the downs without daylight, even though the light is not a part of the down itself.... We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament.......When it [moonlight] comes, it serves no necessary. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves form a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or gunmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itelf were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powedery, misty distance of beechwoods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that even the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a july morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity - so much lower than that of daylight - makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.
- Richard Adams, Watership Down
I crammed my head full of as much of this stuff as I could stand and locked it away in my mind out of sight, left it alone. Figured I could send a truck back for it later.
-Bob Dylan, Chronicles Volume One