Going to Groundnby David R. SlavittnA green world, buzzing, benignnin hidden glen or hushed gladenwhere the sun’s rays dance on motesnswimming in air like midges, magic,nand, surely, the sound of running waternenlivens the place, an Eden or evennbetter, our best dream — its serpentsnare penises laughing girls have tamednas amusing pets. There’s no such place,nbut how can you know when the next risencould open to show a vista familiarnas childhood’s bedroom you still wake tondecades later? (It gives waynto a squalid other, a present you daren’tntrust too much.) The arrangements of buildings,nother men’s fancies, are arbitrary,nand you deserve and demand more:na universe that fits you, welcomes,nand celebrates, as your parents didnor ought to have done. If Earth is mother,nhowever preoccupied and moodynat least sometimes she must feel for usnsomething like our tender longingnthat calls out for its own completionnand at such relenting moments maynsmile and offer us that glimpsenof rocks, trees, hillsides, and skyndisposed to conform and satisfynour unsuspected expectations.nNo mere exercise in landscape,nthis vision haunts us all our livesnof how the spirit can inhere,nenlivening the mute and brutenobjects we stub our toes on. That greennworld is where Viola sortsnOrsino out of all that rumple.nPamina and her Tamino unitenas we hoped they would—but nothing is everncertain when all are behaving badly,nCalibans let loose. We allnrely on Rosina’s gracious pardonnwhen she forgives her errant Countnin a song that melts and continues to echonin us as if a mountainsidenitself were singing where we’d choosento settle — had we not always lived there.nnnJANUARY 1992/29n