On appearing faraway

What has the reins to imagination; what turns every bend of the road into a stage for coincidence and conjures a phantom for the passion’s pleasing; what grants no rest to the obliging mind and keeps it ready for all contingencies; what robs all other conversations of concern and all other endeavors of effort; what persuades the man to travel the much longer but little luckier path; what finds its place in the quiet train rides, in the pointing out of a mighty bell’s ring, in the traversing of parks where children hang daringly from colored poles and where dogs sit obediently by their owners’ sides; what, in the night, refuses sleep and in sleep conquers the lands of dreams; what sometimes springs up in a hopeful prance and in other times, return to a humdrum idle; what can tickle like a playful feather or torment like a crushing weight; what is like an oasis that quivers in the desert heat, first glistening in kindness then fading behind a flurry of sand –

– what a man keeps concealed in his breast pocket like a piece of treasured embroidery; what he wishes to tell the world in a delighted voice, yet is kept from doing so for fear of the response; what he hides deep in enigma is what makes him appear always faraway.