Excerpt from John Cowper Powys "Autobiography"
"We have to live a long time to know what are the important moments. We think, at the time, they are the days when we change continents, or hemispheres, or nationalities, or religions, or infatuations, but they do not as a rule turn out to be the great lumbering events. They turn out to be some little, tiny, infintesimal sensation...like Proust's "Madeline" dipped in camomile tea...that reveals to us the clue to our life"......."This tattered Euclid revealed to me that it is possible, even when the bulk of your days and the larger number of your hours are full of discomfort, to embrace a thousand essences of life. The limbs of the loveliest of women, the flanks of the nobelest of hills, the mosses upon the most marbly rocks, the clearest waterfalls, the freshest of ploughed-up fields, the blackest of rooks feeding in the furrows, the whitest dust rising up from the most ancient classic roads, the gleam of glittering sea-pebbles, the faint music of the dying away of the burdens of old ballads, the taste of newly baked bread, the feel of the mystery of things as you muse over your tea...to enjoy such presences and such essences of life and to do so in the scope of some negligible fragment of matter, this and nothing less is what I found I could compass under the spell of this little plum-coloured Euclid! Yes, I learnt from this moment in that littered lobby, smelling of acrid leather, sour sweat, and rotten apples, that our deepest pleasure strew behind them...even when at the time they are not consciously enjoyed...leaves of delight become enchanted with the passing of time, like petals gathered in an ancient pot pourri."......"And if they are always there in that storehouse, why cannot they be summoned up at will? And they can! Proust, with his impersonal Eternal Being, stops short at this point, leaving it all to the accidents of our way. But when I think now of that Euclid something comes back! Not in any thrilling rush does it comes. It comes quietly and prepense. But something does actually come from where that book lies in my mind."