He closes in the face of his throne, and spreads his cloud upon it.
He has surrounded the waters with bounds, at the boundary between light and darkness.
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it
Ecclesiastes 12.1 – 6 (KJV)
you pass the moon to me,
like a loving cup,
or a quaich.
I roll you the sun.
I go to bed,
as you’re getting up
on the other side of the world.
You have scattered the stars
towards me here, like seeds
in the earth.
All through the night,
I have sent you
bunches, bouquets of cloud
to the other side of the world;
so my love will be a shade
where you are,
as I turn in my sleep
the bud of a star.
World, Carol Ann Duffy
My self was laid flat on its back – quite lifelessly, it seemed to my mind – as the angel beings, other souls, or whoever they were, ministered to it with lightening speed, bathing it in platinum light and then weaving a rainbow around it like a kind of shroud. Although they were working very quickly and very hard, this did take a certain amount of time.
Amazingly for the ‘I’ that was watching, shortly after the rainbow cocoon was finished, my self – or a being from what used to be what I’d previously seen of my self – was suddenly upright with an extremely energetic, instantaneous-seeming movement, and opened up a gigantic pair of transclucent white wings. In terms of the proportion of wings to body this being resembled a butterfly more than a bird, though it was clearly of human size, comparable to those others present.
The wings were white and looked feathery, the body was very, very slender and kind of golden-brown, with an elfin face that fizzed with energy and was neither smiling nor frowning but looked very intense, as if concentrating. Its hair – the same colour as the body – seemed to crackle with static electricity.
It looked like my self as a butterfly, but not exactly like me, it had narrower features. Energy pulsated through it as it hovered. I naturally thought it was Gabriel, for the simple reason that this was the name I’d just said, though at the same time I acknowledged that in actual appearance it was more like a spectacular fairy than anything else, to my mind at least.
Now, since the god inspires me,
I follow where he leads, to open Delphi,
The very heavens, bring you revelation
Of mysteries, great matters never traced
By any mind before, and matters lost
Or hidden and forgotten, these I sing.
There is no greater wonder than to range
The starry heights, to leave the earth’s dull regions,
To ride the clouds, to stand on Atlas’ shoulders,
And see, far off, far down, the little figures
Wandering here and there, devoid of reason,
Anxious, in fear of death, and so advise them,
And so make fate an open book.
Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 15, on The Teachings of Pythagoras