A glimpse

The best way to get a vivid impression and feeling of a landscape, is to sit down before it and read, or become otherwise absorbed in thought; for then, when your eyes happen to be attracted to the landscape, you seem to catch Nature unawares, and see her before she has time to change her aspect. The effect lasts but for a single instant, and passes away almost as soon as you are conscious of it; but it is real, for that moment. It is as if you could overhear and understand what the trees are whispering to one another; as if you caught a glimpse of a face unveiled, which veils itself from every willful glance. The mystery is revealed, and after a breath or two, becomes just as great a mystery as before.

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne from, https://www.themarginalian.org/2022/08/17/nathaniel-hawthorne-nature/


*sigh* Some people can write.

There’s a practice to reaching that effect. At first, I couldn’t pull it off. After much practice, I can now arrive at this state quite regularly. Alas, at no time have I ever imagined as delightful a description as Hawthorne’s. The interesting part of the effect—at least, the effect I’m experiencing—is that it is quite clearly me that is different. Our brains are powerful filters; salient is how we describe that which our brains admit. In experiencing this effect, it feels like the salience filter is transparent… as if, instead of feeling swamped by sensory input, the window to the world is momentarily perfectly clear.