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  • From Sunset

The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today

"Oh! time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed. No more. This lovely light, it lights not me; all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can ne’er enjoy.'


This passage, a soliloquy from Ahab, reminds me of a passage from Wordsworth: "There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,/The earth, and every common sight, /To me did seem Apparell'd in celestial light,/ The glory and the freshness of a dream. /It is not now as it hath been of yore;— /Turn wheresoe'er I may, /By night or day,/ The things which I have seen I now can see no more." It seems to me that when the love of nature dies in a human being, life itself is over. Ahab can no longer feel the world. The ability to be moved by nature is gone. When that is gone, creativity, joy, and love go too. We all need time in the woods, at the beach, on the prairie. We need time to connect to the earth. Without that, we are nothing.

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