In the deep of the night you open your eyes and you see, against the wall, a piece of furniture bathed in moonlight. What does it mean, this couch, so lit by the moon? What does it mean that it did not mean before you closed your eyes, or yesterday in the sunlight? It has been changed. Its presence has grown immeasurably. Sitting there, under the window in your slanting walls, it has been chosen to glow. But more than its being chosen, have you been chosen, or, have you chosen; you opened your eyes. Once, if you couldn't sleep, you would shut your eyes and still your thoughts, just as you had stilled your body into a curved, hugging mass. But this night is different and you know it. First, you willed your eyes open, all the while noting that this was out of character. Today a phrase stuck in your head, stuck to the roof of your mouth, the backs of your eyeballs, cloying at your earwax, your nose hairs, refusing to leave your body for the cold, funny air; fear and laziness. Is it possible, you asked yourself, that one could live? That one could choose not to become a mere accident of existence, of time and place? Could what happens to this life, someone's individual and never to be repeated existence - could it really be chosen and not simply left to circumstance? Or chance, habit, culture, convention? Who are these beings to you? Yes, it is possible.
O blessed Spirit, whom I forsake for these, they are not thou! Every personal consideration that we allow costs us heavenly state. We sell the thrones of angels for a short and turbulent pleasure.
Emerson; Circles (1841)
Giovanni Battista Bracelli; Oddities, c. 1624