A sky-hawk that tauntingly had followed the main-truck downwards from its natural home among the stars, pecking at the flag, and incommoding Tashtego there; this bird now chanced to intercept its broad fluttering wing between the hammer and the wood; and simultaneously feeling that etherial thrill, the submerged savage beneath, in his death-gasp, kept his hammer frozen there; and so the bird of heaven, with archangelic shrieks, and his imperial beak thrust upwards, and his whole captive form folded in the flag of Ahab, went down with his ship, which, like Satan, would not sink to hell till she had dragged a living part of heaven along with her,

Chapter 135 The Chase-Third Day

So, yes, there was this sinking moment, and in the sinking my voice was swallowed up.  Each attempt to open my mouth resulted in the coughing up of dry feathers as if the muse that had tauntingly followed my submergence got caught in the moment and dragged below as the ground closed over my head.

Yes, in the balance of life there is an undertow which disrupts the bliss of daily life. There is a love which suffocates.  There is a yearning to speak which leaves us mute.  Even light itself creates a shadow in the act of contact.  But when we see our own dark shadow ahead, we know the light is spilling across our back.  The good is never far.

Speaking of which. .

The other night I found myself at a formal affair.  The sort with no fewer than five pieces of silverware at every place setting.  It was a small gathering and, quite pleasant really, but as the businessman seated next to us talked about hunting and the Air-Force I was just not able to get my mind to line up any sort of response.  Those are the moments when you are grateful your spouse knows how to navigate such territory–but really, the biggest challenge. . .

the biggest challenge?

As this man spoke about the benefits of well-managed deer slaughter . . .just over his right shoulder. . .not five feet from where I sat was this:

except in mint condition.

Mint condition

 The 1930, Lakeside Press, 1st Edition, three-volume  Moby-Dick illustrated with Rockwell Kent’s  280 woodcut illustrations.  One of 1000 ever printed.  In the original publisher’s aluminum slipcase.  This is the edition credited with the novel’s resurgence–five feet from where I sat.

This set, in “fair” condition can be purchased through www.abebooks.com . . .for fourteen thousand, five hundred dollars.

Which makes me think, if I am obsessed with Moby-Dick. . .

I’m not alone.

So, I ask, was my inability to engage in witty repartee

about our nations dearth of qualified military personnel,

was it ADHD inattentive?

Or was it a case of moving my focus

to something very bright,

and very near by? And yet. . .out of reach.