The picture of the world
Post #931 • January 4, 2007, 10:50 AM • 7 Comments
Henry Miller, excerpt from The World of Sex, anthologized in Herny Miller on Writing.
We go along thinking the world to be thus and so. We are not thinking, of course, or the picture would be different every moment. When we go along thus we are merely preserving a dead image of alive moment in the past. However... let us say we meet a woman. We enter into her. Everything is changed. What changed? We do not know precisely. It seems as if everything had changed. It might be that we never see the woman again, or it might be that we never separate. She may lead us to hell or she may open the doors of the world for us. Or she may give us the itch to know other women, thousands of women, millions of women. In rare cases she can stop us dead, make us live in her and wish to never look at another woman. Once I saw a picture of Rubens as he looked when he married his young wife. They were portrayed together, he standing beside or behind her as she sat for the portrait. I shall never forget the emotion it inspired in me. I had one long deep look into the world of contentment, a world of mutual understanding, of love, of mature bliss. I felt the vigor of Rubens, then in the prime of his life; I felt the confidence which he breathed in the presence of his very young wife. I felt that some great event had occurred and had been fixed on canvas for eternity. I do not know the story of his life, whether he lived happily ever afterwards with her or not. I don't care what happened subsequently. I care about that moment which was true and inspiring. I saw it only a few seconds, but it will remain with me, imperishable.