The Objective Correlative

Vesuvius

One thing naturally leads to another

The cause of the pounding, the throbbing, the fighting in my own heart was an electrification of both the recent and distant but continuous past: an epiphany, as when I understood what T.S Eliot meant by objective correlative, and experienced the great pleasure of receiving a communication of thoughts and emotions across time and space through a shattered pile of glittering textual shards; the thick black rich coffee surging through my veins in place of blood; the thrill of taking a day off from monotonous work to write and dream at home, caused by a lack of sleep caused by a sudden and really unexpected night of the darkest, loveliest, and most savage passion; the nonsensical life I have yet again found myself leading in a place few Americans could ever find on the map; the certainty that I can hammer and bash a refinement of welded sparks from the barbaric crudities that mix together to form my existence as a titanic blacksmith laboring in the deep red light that glows inside the hollowed-out cone of a mountain blooded with lava and smoke.

But as for the forested mountains outside my window, forested in trees and forested in twenty-story tenements, these elements combine at different times to produce different emotions: I have wanted to tear away my windows and leap away from everything to join them in a lust of joy so sudden and powerful I find little in the way of ability or reason to resist it; I have wanted to flee away from them, and leap back inside the wall behind me, blanketing myself in scarves of the past, bundled as safely as an infant, at the sight of such rolling mountains dashed with such tides of smog, haze, and rainy monsoon clouds.

Between these two extremes the golden mean is naturally writing

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