"Awesome" In Its Original Meaning
Beauty can be so intense and powerful that instead of inspiring delight, it inspires a particular kind of fear, especially in the faint of heart. I count myself among the faint of heart. The heart grows fainter with each passing year.
The summit of Mt. Washington on a clear fall day. Tahoe from a tight-turning sailplane. The debris field of the Titanic from a diving bell. Bikini Atoll at the moment of thermonuclear ignition.
Standing at the base of the black obelisk depicted in "2001: A Space Odyssey." And what amounts to the same thing -- being, finally, "In the Presence of the Lord." One cowers and turns his back like Igor under the lash. Others, the bodhisattvas, proceed in serenity, leaving us behind.