Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 162: Enchanted landscape

Carol, Meridith and Durl reflecting

"...So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present..."
- Burnt Norton, T.S. Eliot

Yesterday we went to Allerton Park in Monticello, IL. The sculptures and landscaping of this park, the former home of Robert Allerton, are in stark juxtaposition to the spare agricultural landscape outside. Perhaps it is this difference that infused my childhood adventures there with such feelings of great mystery and discovery. After going yesterday I was amazed to sense that the enchantment I felt as a child still remains. Allerton Park is something that whispers from within. It calls you to go deeper into its evergreen forests, to disappear into its sunken gardens, reflecting pools and landscaped labyrinths. Inside you can slip through its portal, breathe its fermenting earth and glimpse upon its sculptures collected from distant lands.

I realized yesterday that Allerton's magic echoes into my present. It infuses Prospect Park, with its panther guarded entrance on 3rd street, with this magical sense of enchantment.


Anonymous said...


pisces76 said...

I'm struck by the resonance between T.S. Elliot's poem and our day. Queer temporality - the continuous present- moments of being. Quite lovely, -m