This morning, my last in Montalcino, I enjoyed a daybreak drive through the vineyards of Il Poggione with winemaker Fabrizio Bindocci as my guide (I’ve been staying at the estate’s farmhouse).
The vision above made me think of Dante, Inferno, 34, 132-33:
- Into that hidden passage my guide and I
entered, to find again the world of light
I remembered my years as a grad student, often spent imagining the quality of light as perceived by humankind in the Middle Ages.
I remembered the famous passage from Burckhardt:
- In the Middle Ages both sides of human consciousness—that which was turned within as that which was turned without—lay dreaming or half awake beneath a common veil. The veil was woven of faith, illusion, and childish prepossession, through which the world and history were seen clad in strange hues.
And I realized that those strange hues often reveal truths lost on those inebriated by the glow of rationalism.