|Forest Interior, 1850, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek|
When I saw this picture it reminded me of Little Dorrit.
And suddenly my heart was overflowing. My spirit welling up.
Oh, how I sometimes long to be in an imaginary place, in a world whose volume is all Love; where shadows do not express darkness, but serve to prove the Light; where the falling leaves, and the sear and sallow garden reveal a Beauty strong and abiding; where I am among the book people, favorite characters, deathless and True.
The longing is so full it grows to an ache that stops my senses and becomes a focus in itself, a concentration to see and understand such a multidimensional fullness.
Spending many moments in that world of Love and Light and Beauty and Truth makes it difficult to re-enter the "real" world. This old here-and-now seems flat and queerly fluorescent-lit and artificial.
Yet I am so grateful for the glimpse of the wide, full world.
Jerusalem, my happy home,
When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end?
Thy joys when shall I see?
O happy harbor of the saints!
O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found,
No grief, no care, no toil.
... Our sweet is mixed with bitter gall,
Our pleasure is but pain:
Our joys scarce last the looking on,
Our sorrows still remain...
"Jerusalem My Happy Home" -- "The original manuscript in the British Museum, dated around 1583, is inscribed, “A song made by F. B. P. to the tune of DIANA.” The author is thought to have been a Catholic priest who based the hymn on the writings of St. Augustine." [ from CyberHymnal ]