Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mind’s Ocean Redux

One of the very first graphics I created for Impossible Kisses was for a Melville reference:

The Mind’s Ocean

Yesterday I was talking to some people about various parts of a woman’s body and how men react to them. I didn’t have access to any graphics so when I again looked to Melville I looked more directly. I quoted Ahab talking to his personal obscure object of desire, the whale. Afterward I wondered why I’ve never put the quote here. It certainly belongs here. So here it is:

“Speak, thou vast and venerable head which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee. Of all divers, thou has dived the deepest. That head upon which the upper sun now gleams has moved amid the world’s foundations. Where unrecorded names and navies rust, and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful water-land, there was thy most familiar home. Thou hast been where bell or diver never went; has slept by many a sailer’s side, where sleepless mothers would give their lives to lay them down. Thou saw’st the locked lovers when leaping from their flaming ship; heart to heart they sank beneath the exulting wave; true to each other, when heaven seemed false to them. Thou saw’st the murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck; for hours he fell into the deeper midnight of the insatiate maw; and his murderers still sailed on unharmed–while swift lightnings shivered the neighboring ship that would have borne a righteous husband to outstretched, longing arms. O head! thou has seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one syllable is thine!”

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