Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

It is harder to see what one sees
than anyone knows
because it is easier, far far easier
than on can suppose. That still point of the turning world
—look! this light through the petal—
where there are no shadows
and where it is never a problem never to have shadows,
neither haunted by undaunted need
nor pursued by misconstrued fleeting:
there where Plato dwelt
and many have followed rejoicing
is where we see.
That radiance more durable than fire,
more daring than rock,
that durable and that daring more enduring than dark.
The spark which, incapable of being pinned down by the naked eye,
pins one finally inexorably to reality, the great unpinning:
one achieves a dancing discipline,
is fulfilled by a flying fatal freedom,
achievement and fulfillment being gift and more than gift.
The dazzle which uncrazes the poet with its amazing unveiling.
One there is Who was there before either Plato or poet,
but all, all are invited
by the changeless One Who loves changing
the One into Many and the Many into One.
There where the daze is unnumbered,
where the wound blazes and, blazing, brings most humble joy.
Gold vermilion gash which—melting, flowing, pulsing—
is yet always perfectly defining, accurately designing,
and, enlightening one's mind, enflaming one's heart,
catches the eye and snatches the ear:
one hears the glowing
—O heart of matter Thou art matter of the heart—
and the blind man, captured in a rapture, sees the singing:
Behold here iridescence where the sun never sets.

Paul Edward Guay