An Immense Diamond

Woman leaning against tree writingLast week I was away, in a cabin deep in the woods, recollecting myself. No papers. No radio. No phone number. I go away as often as I can, which is not very often. Sometimes I write. Mostly I don’t even think. I just contemplate—the forest, the world beyond it, myself, or the object of contemplation that comes when the mind empties itself of itself. Sometimes all existence seems to slip into focus. All its violence and tragedy and disorder take on a form and meaning that the mind can grasp briefly. Then the turmoil of existence seems a matter of scarcely perceptible changes of phase like an ever so slightly varying colored light shifting over an immense diamond.

—Kenneth Rexroth, In the Sierra: Mountain Writings, New Directions, 2012

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