When I need to see clearly, I go up high.
It’s not that I feel above it all in any way,
more that I need to see more;
I need to see how it all fits together,
how the parts relate, how the details find place in the unity.
When the voices around me tell me that this is all there is,
I want to say; ‘No, there’s more.
There’s more possiblity than you dream of,
a more generous future than any manifesto can supply,
a richer life than can be delivered by budgets and brokered deals.
When I stand up here
I hear once more the voice of another seeker of lofty viewpoints,
one who dared to proclaim that people
who feel as scattered as a a dispersed flock
As I stand here,
even the obscuring mist cannot suppress that voice.
Strangely, this cloud of unknowing serves only to instensify the promise
and to draw me closer to the unknowable one
who does not seek to convince me with his well-costed plans,
but beguiles me with his dizzying words,
speaks a truth beyond reason,
seizes my heart and lifts my eyes.
[Caspar David Friedrich’s The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog of 1818 is in the collection of the Hamburger Kunsthalle]