Friday, September 5

hidden in the apparent clarity

Some soldier stopped a moment and spoke. "It's indescribably rich in the dark, isn't it?" Without waiting for an answer he continued, a little unlike a soldier. "This soft mist, the dark outlines of the boats in the convoy make it seem as if the long strong limbs of my woman are what cause the rhythmic heaving of this bloody ship. And the wind is like her hair in my face. And the foam and blue-green glints of light are like her fleeting expressions of smile and seduction. Can you see that faint red gleam on the water like flesh in the moonlight is red from your memory of flesh?"

I could not, so I laid his faulty vision to the hot red blood of him who spoke. He must have been full of the dreams the endless ocean engenders to talk so freely and so expressively of his feelings, instead of using the vulgar language we usually use to hide the tenderness of our passion. I had been dreaming of love myself, I guess, though you were not consciously in my thoughts. The night was too misty, mysterious to be one of yours. It is the clear, sparkling jeweled nights and days that are yours; those times when mystery is so cunningly hidden in the apparent clarity, it is more absolute, more unresolved than any other.

-- Minor White, letter to Isabel Kane, July-August 1943

Minor White