Fragrant Quote for August 29th, 2012-The Grand Canyon of Arizona: Being a Book of Words from Many Pens By Atchison, Topeka, and Santa

Credit for Image of Grand Canyon by William Holmes

It is not the matchless immensity of it, I think, that overcomes you, but that your senses cannot quite encompass and analyze its unique and elusive quality. This great impassive thing that frightens you by its appalling immensity, that enthralls your imagination by the magic of its matchless beauty, that bewilders and mystifies your senses by the vague suggestion of fragrance and melody in its gorgeous purples, and by the vast, echoless silences of its Pompeiian reds and yellows, is inexorable and unresponsive to your puny emotions. That is what fills you with a nameless longing, a divine regret. That is what makes you sob unconsciously as you gaze off into the abysmal, chromatic splendors of the scene. Your soul hungers for a sympathy which the great spectacle is too impassive, too inexorable, to yield. The inexorable always affects us like that in our psychic moods. The generous mind receives always a sensation of diffused pain from any spectacle or any emotion that baflles complete expression, and the divine pathos of this is as undefinable, as inexorable, as resistless as death—and as lovely as the hope of life everlasting.

Is it the sympathy of one sense with another (it must be that) which beguiles the reason into belief that the colors in this ravishing, chromatic maze are endued with the magic of melody and odor? This is something not to be insisted on, nor denied; you feel it or (for you) it is not so. Of course if you are hopelessly sane you do not feel anything of the kind.