And so it goes...

.......This is a blog where my other self exists in any number of the dimensions of Time and Space........... .

Thursday, 4 February 2010

1972 The HSC..Turramurra High it was a rite of passage..?

1--A Face on Which Time Makes but Little Impression

A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight,
and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned
itself moment by moment. Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud
shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its

The heaven being spread with this pallid screen and the earth with
the darkest vegetation, their meeting-line at the horizon was clearly
marked. In such contrast the heath wore the appearance of an instalment
of night which had taken up its place before its astronomical hour was
come: darkness had to a great extent arrived hereon, while day stood
distinct in the sky. Looking upwards, a furze-cutter would have been
inclined to continue work; looking down, he would have decided to
finish his faggot and go home. The distant rims of the world and of the
firmament seemed to be a division in time no less than a division in
matter. The face of the heath by its mere complexion added half an
hour to evening; it could in like manner retard the dawn, sadden noon,
anticipate the frowning of storms scarcely generated, and intensify the
opacity of a moonless midnight to a cause of shaking and dread.

In fact, precisely at this transitional point of its nightly roll into
darkness the great and particular glory of the Egdon waste began, and
nobody could be said to understand the heath who had not been there at
such a time. It could best be felt when it could not clearly be seen,
its complete effect and explanation lying in this and the succeeding
hours before the next dawn; then, and only then, did it tell its true
tale. The spot was, indeed, a near relation of night, and when night
showed itself an apparent tendency to gravitate together could be
perceived in its shades and the scene. The sombre stretch of rounds and
hollows seemed to rise and meet the evening gloom in pure sympathy, the
heath exhaling darkness as rapidly as the heavens precipitated it.
And so the obscurity in the air and the obscurity in the land closed
together in a black fraternization towards which each advanced halfway.

The place became full of a watchful intentness now; for when other
things sank blooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and
listen. Every night its Titanic form seemed to await something; but it
had waited thus, unmoved, during so many centuries, through the crises
of so many things, that it could only be imagined to await one last
crisis--the final overthrow.

It was a spot which returned upon the memory of those who loved it
with an aspect of peculiar and kindly congruity. Smiling champaigns of
flowers and fruit hardly do this, for they are permanently harmonious
only with an existence of better reputation as to its issues than the
present. Twilight combined with the scenery of Egdon Heath to evolve a
thing majestic without severity, impressive without showiness, emphatic
in its admonitions, grand in its simplicity. The qualifications which
frequently invest the facade of a prison with far more dignity than is
found in the facade of a palace double its size lent to this heath a
sublimity in which spots renowned for beauty of the accepted kind are
utterly wanting. Fair prospects wed happily with fair times; but alas,
if times be not fair! Men have oftener suffered from, the mockery of
a place too smiling for their reason than from the oppression of
surroundings oversadly tinged. Haggard Egdon appealed to a subtler and
scarcer instinct, to a more recently learnt emotion, than that which
responds to the sort of beauty called charming and fair.

Thus begins Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native..and I liked it then and I like it still and it marked the beginning of my great affection for Hardy, an affection still undiminished..

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