O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.
From W. B. Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”
It was a cold autumn evening as I waited on some friends to show up. I pulled my hood up and tugged it tight to keep the warmth a little closer. Its edges extended past my face, hedging out my peripheral vision. I could hear my breath inside the hood as I turned my body to look to the houses, pond, and trees, as I leaned back to tilt my face toward the sky. I had the sudden and visceral sense of being underwater, or maybe floating in space. For a few moments, I could imagine my life as one long dive.