"the mystic aspect of acute aesthetic surrender, that renders it so akin as an experience to what religionists term ecstatic communion, is recalled by w.h. hudson from his boyhood life. he is speaking of the effect the sight of acacia trees had upon him:
'the loose feathery foliage on moonlight nights had a peculiar aspect that made this tree seem more intensely alive than others, more conscious of me and of my presence…similar to a feeling a person would have if visited by a supernatural being if he was perfectly convinced that it was there in his presence, albeit silent and unseen, intently regarding him and divining every thought in his mind.’
(ralph) waldo emerson is often regarded as an austere thinker, but it was emerson as an adult who said, ‘crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thought any occurrence of special good fortune, i have enjoyed perfect exhilaration. i am glad to the brink of fear.’”
- john dewey, art as experience, 1934.
i’ve read and re-read this book so many times that my copy now lays in four pieces