Outdoor Advent Day 9

In the bottom of the picture, in sharp focus, is a covering of yellow green fronded moss. The minute individual fronds gleam and glisten although no drops of water are visible. To the right of the frame several blades of grass, one shader greener than the moss, draw the eye. In the background, all of which is out of focus, is a muddy path that is edged in several darker shades of green, leading to a thicket of trees and a hint of blue sky at the top left of the picture.

The edges of language are sharp, and pervert our meanings sideways. What the edges tell us, if we listen to them, is that there are experiences we can have that we cannot talk about using normal mean, or at least not satisfactorily. These are experiences not just of our single personhood but also of relation. They are experiences of the world, in the world; they are experiences where flowers reach their light right out into our eyes. They are experiences where we feel as if are full of holes, as if the world can come not only close against us, but can actually enter right into us, so that we are as shot through with it as if we were Saint Sebastian, and the world arrows.

– page 5, A Spell in the Wild by Alice Tarbuck

I do not have much to add to the quote I have chosen to accompany today’s photo.

Every time I look at it I find myself at a loss to describe exactly what it is about this picture which makes feel untethered and yet whole. It is, in part, the delicate profusion of moss mingled with that particular placing of the blades of grass, plus the juxtaposition of that most vivid yellow green against the rich browns and darker greens in the blurred background but it so much more. I can find no words that properly explain my emotion reaction to it, even to myself, never mind finding any that could possible generate a similar reaction in you.

Thankfully I began reading Alice’s beautiful book last month and these words of hers capture the subtlety of my inability to express myself clearly on this topic, and go some way to explaining why it is so. And that, I think, is more than enough.

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