Honeymoon Sicily | Sicily Inspired by D.H. Lawrence
Why can't one sit still? Here in Sicily it is so pleasant.The sunny Ionian Sea, the changing jewel of Calabria
like a fire opal moved in the light, luminous and gleaming.
Then Etna, flaring over the jagged dark precipices of a tall Sicily,
that wicked witch, resting her thick white
snow under heaven, and slowly, slowly rolling her orange-coloured smoke.
They called her the Pillar of Heaven, the Greeks. It seems wrong at first, for she (Etna) trails up in a long,
magical, flexible line from the sea's edge to her blunt cone, and does not seem tall at all. She seems rather
low under heaven, remote under heaven, aloof, so near, yet never with us.
The painters try to paint, and the photographers to photograph her, all in vain. Because why? Because the near
ridges, with their olives and white houses, these are with us but Etna herself, Etna of the snow and secret
changing winds, she is beyond a crystal wall
never to be with us.
When I look at her, low, white, witch-like under heaven, slowly rolling her orange smoke and giving sometimes
a breath of rose-red flame, then I must look away from earth, into the heavens, into the low empyrean. And there,
in that remote region, Etna is alone always alone but
Pedestal of heaven
! The Greeks had a sense of the magic truth of things. There are so many photographs of her;
there are so many oil paintings which purport to render Etna. But pedestal of heaven! You must cross the invisible
border where there is a dividing line and change your state of mind there is no use in thinking you can see and behold
Etna without being with Etna
Why, then, must one go? Why not stay? What a mistress, this Etna! With her strange winds prowling round her like
Circe's panthers, some black, some white. She makes men mad. Such terrible vibrations of wicked and beautiful
electricity she throws about her, like a deadly net!
Sometimes one can feel a new current of her demon magnetism
seize one's living tissue and change the peaceful life of one's active cells. She makes a storm and sometimes it
is like madness, with her strange remote communications, and her terrible dynamic exhalations.
This timeless Grecian Etna, in her lower-heaven loveliness, so lovely, so lovely, what a torturer! Not many men can
really stand her, without losing their souls. Unless a man is very strong, she takes his soul away from him and leaves
him not a beast, but an elemental creature, intelligent and soulless
How many men, how many races, has Etna put to flight? It was she who broke the quick of the Greek soul. And after
the Greeks, she gave the Romans, the Normans, the Arabs, the Spaniards, the French, the
Italians, even the English , she gave them all their inspired hour and broke their souls.
She gives you Sicily!!!!!