"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Childe Battles with the Beast

Episode 3 in the Quest to Become a Transparent Eyeball

In a previous post I spoke of my quest to become one with Nature. I resolved to achieve this goal by using the method of the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. He spoke of transcendence as becoming "a transparent eyeball." Twice before, I have sought to reach this epiphanic state and failed. Then, a few evenings past, while sitting on my porch I made a third attempt.

Thus reposed, I began reading from the letters of Lord Byron. All of a sudden, I was confronted by a beast of the field.

This beast, having thoroughly upset my meditation, shied at a given finger. I supposed him prepared to yield. And having made explicit my wish that he depart, I returned to perusing the personal letters of Romanticism's Poet Laureate. Soon I felt myself caught up in the majesty of reflection. Around me, adolescent leaves rustled playfully in the breeze that blows eastward from yon Waterloo.

But what to my surprise, the beast tarried in my path. He hunkered down between me and the goddess of Surcease (known to the ancient Latins as 'Supersessus'). And so I strove to block the foe's advance.

Here upon these stones, I steeled myself against the opposition Nature had set before me. Again, my eyes roamed Lord Byron's letters as he detailed the wiles of seduction and abandonment. Oh great Childe of my heart's library!--great were thy conquests, yet great thy follies also.

(On a side note, what manner of dude becomes pen-pals with the aunt of his most jaded booty call? Woe is him.)

But what to my further surprise...

"Once more through all he bursts his thundering way--"
--Lord Byron, 18-something A.D.
"Can it be?" I thought to myself. "Am I being charged by a beetle? Surely he has lost his tiny mind. No sensible beetle would rush a 6'2" man holding a hardbound book. Unless...this beast cannot see me. Yes, it must be. I have become a transparent eyeball!"

In my transcendent state, I noted the sheen of the beetle's carapace. Filled with the benevolence Emerson must of have known while floating transparent in the woods, I relented. The beetle passed by my size 13 feet, unflappable to the last. Only then did I realize his true intent--and my folly

"'tis past--he sinks upon the sand!"
--Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto 1: ln. 782

I looked on while the little fellow burrowed through a craggy egress in the concrete step. My world came into focus. Heed these words, good reader. When you find yourself being disregarded by one of Nature's creatures, do not assume you have become a transparent eyeball. You might have. Or you could just be standing, arrogant and foolhardy, between a beetle and his home. What an asshole ...me that is.

No natural beings were harmed in the making of this blog post.

How My Transparent Eyeball Quest Began

Read Episode 1 Here

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