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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst

From The Chart

“The heavy pewter lamp suspended in chains over his head, continually rocked with the motion of the ship, and for ever threw shifting gleams and shadows of lines upon his wrinkled brow, till it almost seemed that while he himself was marking out lines and courses on the wrinkled charts, some invisible pencil was also tracing lines and courses upon the deeply marked chart of his forehead.”



Today we follow Ahab to his quarters where he pulls out maps and charts courses to locate whale routes. I like how Melville shows us how the lines made on the wrinkled charts were also being traced by fate on Ahab’s own wrinkled brow. I see us all, from time to time, making plans, charting a course of our own, while fate is (perhaps) marking out a different plan.

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