despair of being
able to convey my own
idea of this place
My wife tells me to stop writing about how beautiful this place is.
Keep it up, she says, and everyone will come here.
I know what SHE means.
I do think I should stop writing about being here in the low country of South Carolina in general and more specifically the beaches of Hilton Head Island the bluff overlooking the May River in Bluffton.
Not because I worry about visitors.
But because I only have words to use.
Anthony Trollope, the English novelist, once wrote about Sydney Australia, “I despair of being able to convey to any reader my own idea of the beauty of Sydney Harbour.”
I know what HE means.
I grew up in West Michigan and they were lots of places that would also bring me to despair if I tried to describe.
But there is something beyond here.
Maybe its that the landscape doesn’t turn white 6 months of the year.
Maybe I am older.
Maybe after a dozen years in Atlanta.
Maybe it is just me and other people have other places.
Thomas Jefferson described the view of Harper’s Ferry, where the the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers come together, from what is known as ‘Jefferson’s Rock’ with the words, “This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.”
I have been to Harper’s Ferry a couple of times.
I have stood on Jefferson’s Rock.
As I was about 12 years old, the view didn’t move me to despair at being able to convey my idea of the place.
It was cool.
That was all the words I needed.
I mention that you are no longer allowed to stand on the rock itself and it is cordoned off today.
I have to say, in the spirt of transparency, I have never made a voyage across the Atlantic.
When Mr. Jefferson wrote, “This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic,” it was quite the tribute as a voyage across the Atlantic was no picnic.
As Mr. Johnson* more of less said, “All the fun of jail with the chance of drowning thrown in.”
But then comparing the spot to the experience of the voyage, maybe the bar was set low by Mr. Jefferson.
Again from something close to what Mr. Johnson said, “Worth seeing, but not worth going to see.”
Maybe, just maybe, here where I am now, IS quite a spot.
Worth going to see.
Worth a voyage across the Atlantic.
I can say that for sure.
But I despair over the lack of words to convey my idea on how to convey the beauty of this area.
Just typing those words I despair at how limited the word ‘beauty‘ is.
In spite of my despair, I am quite content.
Content to sit on the beach and watch.
Content to sit on the bluff and look.
Content to be still.
It says in the Book of Psalms, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
It says in the Book of Psalms, “I will be exalted in the earth.”
I guess that is they key to understanding this type of places.
God will be exalted in the earth.
These places are God just showing off.
These places cannot be conveyed in words.
I am going try.
- Often called Dr. Johnson (1709-1784), was an English writer who made lasting contributions … according to Wikipedia, but known mostly for today for those two quotes.