An Ethereal Look

You know how we would be doing something and suddenly an image would come to mind? Well, that happened to me yesterday.

I suddenly remembered a woman who some years ago lived virtually right on the beach. She always wore those long flowing kind of dresses, and early every morning she would take her three dogs for a run on the sand. Those dresses gave her an almost ethereal look as she walked and ran with the dogs. It’s an image I’ve never forgotten.

What brought it to mind? Well, I was reading a short poem by Robert Herrick called, “Upon Julia’s Clothes,” and a certain line in the first verse just invited the image in.

Whenas in silks my Julia goes.
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
The liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

I love the poem, and that line, “The liquefaction of her clothes” is just magnificent. So here’s to the woman who seemed to vibrate and glitter as she walked and ran with her dogs on the beach.


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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18 Responses to An Ethereal Look

  1. josna says:

    Lovely post, Don. “The liquefaction of her clothes” is a wonderfully liquid line, and your recollection of the woman running on beach, long skirts flowing, similarly invokes an image of ethereal (like saying this word) beauty in movement. I will share this with my father-in-law; I think Herrick is a favorite of his and I’m sure he knows the poem.


  2. Beautiful! This is how memory works, as was described by Proust.


  3. How ‘delicate’, Don, is this beautiful poem…
    I especially liked –
    “Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
    That brave vibration each way free;”
    What a gentle soul to write such descriptive language…


  4. theINFP says:

    Thank you for sharing the memory and the verse 🙂


  5. Hudson Howl says:

    Can’t image living if the ability to feel and live in that tenuous relationship between real and the imaginative was taken away from me – after all the ethereal is the thing which allows us to connect with nature, other people and to the things which can scare the hell out us. Perhaps that ‘third eye of man’ is not such a mystery after all.


    • Don says:

      I cannot imagine it either, Hudson. You’ve just crystallized it for me – “…to feel and live in that tenuous relationship between real and the imaginative.” I think that’s where I live and I wouldn’t change it for anything. The two perceptions for me are always a congruent whole. Thank you.


  6. nrhatch says:

    Thanks for sharing . . . loved the images in the poem and in your recollection.


  7. ladyfi says:

    Yes, what a gorgeous poem. Must have been a lovely sight. It’s wonderful how visual memories can stay with us for a long time.


    • Don says:

      Thanks Fiona. It’s such a gift to be able to take a visual memory like that and then to express it so beautifully in poetic form.


  8. Yes it seems such beautiful verse was created in that place between the real and imaginative- Tenuous indeed. I am losing it always. Maybe it’s like the moon’s influence on the tides. The ebb and flow of creativity.


    • Don says:

      Love your descriptions. I think it’s right that we constantly lose it because in the end it is mystery and you can’t control mystery, you can only respond to it when it reveals something of itself. I think there’s always something mysterious about creativity. It’s never under our full control. At least that’s how I experience it. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Enjoyed it.


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