Twilight at Holden Beach. One last romp with the waves. Photography copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013
I find, that for me, there is a moment, one pure, crystalline moment when the day begins to fade and the night begins to wrap its arms around you, that brings the bitter sweetness pain and love. I don’t know why it happens. I have experienced it since I was a child. There are times that this moment brings tears to my eyes. Not sad or happy tears. I believe they are the tears of knowing that in those precious seconds, you live.
Twilight reminds us of our invisible and silken thread which connects us to the Universe. The air smells pure. You take a breath and know that all that matters is the fact you are alive and you are in every living thing on this planet and they are all in you. You might be sitting on a porch, walking along a beach, standing breathing the mountain air or driving along a highway, but this moment will flutter your heart. You are alive.
Shakespeare was the English bard and controversy not withstanding, he moves us as few others ever have . He was an expert in the craft of words. He crafted them for the common people and for Kings and Queens. For me there is an American bard. It Is Walt Whitman. While I don’t write poetry I love to read it and Whitman is my default poet when my heart and soul truly needs comfort.
I hope you will enjoy these selections as much as I do.
A Twilight Song
As I sit in twilight late alone by the flickering oak flame,
Musing on long-pass’d war-scenes–of the countless buried unknown soldiers,
Of the vacant names, as unindented air’s and sea’s–the unreturn’d,
The brief truce after battle, with grim burial-squads, and the deep-fill’d trenches
Of gather‘d dead from all America, North, South East, West, whence they came up,
From wooded Maine, New England’s farms, from fertile Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio,
From the measureless West, Virginia, the South, the Carolinas, Texas,
(even here in my room-shadows and half-lights in the noiseless flickering flames,
Again I see the stalwart ranks on-filing, rising—–
I hear the rhythmic tramp of the armies;)
You million unwrit names all, all-you dark bequest from all the war,
A special verse for you–a flash of duty long neglected–
your mystic roll strangely gather‘d here,
Each name recall‘d by me from out the darkness and death’s ashes,
Henceforth to, deep,deep within my heart recording, for many a future year,
Your mystic roll entire of unknown names, or North or South,
Embalm’d with love in this twilight song.:
“Come, said my Soul,
Such verses for my Body let us write (for we are one)
That should I after death invisibly return,
Or, long, long hence, in other spheres, There to some group of mates the chanting resuming,
(Tallying Earth’s soil, trees, winds, and tumultuous waves,)
Ever with pleas’d smile I may keep on,
Ever and ever yet the verses owning–as, first, I here and now,
Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name.
The beach at twilight. Photgraph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio
Blue Ridge Mountain twilight. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio
Seven Sisters Mountain twilight, Black Mountain.
Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio