I feel a connection with this essay as it brings up many questions (and answers some) as to why I am constantly drawn to the distant views across the river. See extracts below.
Essay: “Why Distant Objects Please” by William Hazlitt from Table Talk, Essays on Men and Manners (1822)
“Distant objects please, because, in the first place, they imply an idea of space and magnitude, and because not being obtruded too close upon the eye, we clothe them with the indistinct and airy colours of fancy. In looking at the misty mountain-tops that bound the horizon, the mind is as it were conscious of all the conceivable objects and interests that lie between.”
“our feelings, carried out of themselves, lose their grossness and their husk, are rarefied, expanded, melt into softness and brighten into beauty, turning to ethereal mould, sky-tinctured. We drink the air before us, and borrow a more refined existence form objects that hover on the brink of nothing. Where the landscape fades from the dull sight, we fill the thin, viewless space with shapes of unknown good, and tinge the hazy prospect with hopes and wishes and more charming fears. ”
“Whatever is placed beyond the reach of sense and knowledge, whatever is imperfectly discerned, the fancy pieces out at its leisure; and all but the present moment, but the present spot, passion claims for its own, and brooding over it with wings outspread, stamps it with an image of itself. Passion is lord of infinite space, and distant objects please because they border on its confines and are moulded by its touch.”
“Distance of time has much the same effect as distance of place. “