Not an empty longing. A full longing.

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 ]

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