We have been asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mocking bird on the chimney is singing… The real and proper question is: Why is it so beautiful? Beauty itself is the language to which we have no key; it is the mute cipher, the cryptogram, the uncracked, unbroken code. And it could be that for beauty, as it turned out to be for French, that there is no key, that ‘oui’ will never make sense in our language but only in its own, and that we need to start all over again, on a new continent, learning the strange syllables one by one.” - Annie Dillard.
I read that in the laundromat as I waited for my clothes to finish the spin cycle and it has sat pounding around in my head since, my Rosetta Stone. I thought I understood the river pretty well. But the more I see it from different angles, with different eyes, the more I realize I am only understanding the river at the level of the infant who botches speech utterly. I have found that new continent right in my own backyard and am now spending my days trying to learn the strange syllables of the river one by one.
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