Full text: The waves

THE WAVES 3 
visionless, through a world weightless, without illusion ? 
“ The heaviness of my despondency thrust open the gate 
1 leant on and pushed me, an elderly man, a heavy man with 
grey hair, through the colourless field, the empty field. No 
mote to hear echoes, no more to see phantoms, to conjure 
up no opposition, but to walk always unshadowed, making 
no impress upon the dead earth. If even there had been sheep 
munching, pushing one foot after another, or a bird, or 2a 
man driving a spade into the earth, had there been a bramble 
to trip me, or a ditch, damp with soaked leaves, into which 
to fall—but no, the melancholy path led along the level, to 
more wintriness and pallor and the equal and uninteresting 
view of the same landscape. 
“ How then does light return to the world after the 
eclipse of the sun? Miraculously. Frailly. In thin stripes. 
It hangs like a glass cage. It is a hoop to be fractured by a 
tiny jar. There is a spark there. Next moment a flush of 
dun. Then a vapour as if earth were breathing in and out, 
once, twice, for the first time. Then under the dullness 
someone walks with a green light. Then off twists a white 
wraith. The woods throb blue and green, and gradually the 
fields drink in red, gold, brown. Suddenly a river snatches 
a blue light. The earth absorbs colour like a sponge slowly 
drinking water. It puts on weight; rounds itself ; hangs 
pendent : settles and swings beneath our feet. 
“ So the landscape returned to me; so I saw fields rolling 
in waves of colour beneath me, but now with this difference ; 
I saw but was not seen. 1 walked unshadowed; I came 
unheralded. From me had dropped the old cloak, the old 
response ; the hollowed hand that beats back sounds. Thin 
as a ghost, leaving no trace where I trod, perceiving merely, 
I walked alone in a new world, never trodden ; brushing new 
flowers, unable to speak save in a child’s words of one 
syllable ; without shelter from phrases—I who have made so 
many ; unattended, I who have always gone with my kind ; 
solitary, I who have always had someone to share the empty 
grate, or the cupboard with its hanging loop of gold. 
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