Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Gathered Into Invisible Arms...

The Moon: Sculpture by James Nasmyth

The Sun: Studies of the Solar Spectrum by Jules Janssen

The three people, the captain, a gentleman, and a young girl, climb into the basket, the anchoring cords are loosed, and the strange house flies, slowly, as if it had first to ponder something, upward […] Everything has an almost brownish clarity. The beautiful moonlit night seems to gather the splendid balloon into invisible arms, gently and quietly the roundish flying body ascends, and now, hardly so that one might notice, subtle winds propel it northward […] How beautiful it is, the round, pale, dark depth below. The moonlight, tender and evocative, picks the rivers out, silver […] The forests seem to be chanting somber and ancient songs, but this chanting strikes one as being more like a noble silent knowledge […] The loneliness of remote regions has a special tone, such that one believes one ought to understand and even see this special thing that slips away from thought […] One peers down into regions where one’s feet would never, never have trod, because in certain regions, indeed in most, one has no purpose whatever. How big and unknown to us the earth is, thinks the feather-hatted gentleman. Yes, your own country does finally become intelligible from up here, looking down […] and onward one flies, onward, and finally the glorious sun appears, and, attracted by this proud star, the balloon soars upward into a magical dizzy height.”


~ Text: Robert Walser, Balloon Journey