That was the strange mine of souls.
As secret ores of silver they passed
like veins through its darkness. Between the roots
blood welled, flowing onwards to Mankind,
and it looked as hard as Porphyry in the darkness.
Otherwise nothing was red.
There were cliffs
and straggling woods. Bridges over voids,
and that great grey blind lake,
that hung above its distant floor
like a rain-filled sky above a landscape.
And between meadows, soft and full of patience,
one path, a pale strip, appeared,
passing by like a long bleached thing.
And down this path they came.
In front the slim man in the blue mantle,
mute and impatient, gazing before him.
His steps ate up the path in huge bites
without chewing: his hands hung,
clumsy and tight, from the falling folds,
and no longer aware of the weightless lyre,
grown into his left side,
like a rose-graft on an olive branch.
And his senses were as if divided:
while his sight ran ahead like a dog,
turned back, came and went again and again,
and waited at the next turn, positioned there –
his hearing was left behind like a scent.
Sometimes it seemed to him as if it reached
as far as the going of those other two,
who ought to be following this complete ascent.
Then once more it was only the repeated sound of his climb
and the breeze in his mantle behind him.
But he told himself that they were still coming:
said it aloud and heard it die away.
They were still coming, but they were two
fearfully light in their passage. If only he might
turn once more ( if looking back
were not the ruin of all his work,
that first had to be accomplished), then he must see them,
the quiet pair, mutely following him:
the god of errands and far messages,
the traveling-hood above his shining eyes,
the slender wand held out before his body,
the beating wings at his ankle joints;
and on his left hand, as entrusted: her.
The so-beloved, that out of one lyre
more grief came than from all grieving women:
so that a world of grief arose, in which
all things were there once more: forest and valley,
and road and village, field and stream and creature:
and that around this grief-world, just as
around the other earth, a sun
and a silent star-filled heaven turned,
a grief-heaven with distorted stars –
she was so-loved.
But she went at that god’s left hand,
her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.
She was in herself, like a woman near term,
and did not think of the man, going on ahead,
or the path, climbing upwards towards life.
She was in herself. And her being-dead
filled her with abundance.
As a fruit with sweetness and darkness,
so she was full with her vast death,
that was so new, she comprehended nothing.
She was in a new virginity
and untouchable: her sex was closed
like a young flower at twilight,
and her hands had been weaned so far
from marriage that even the slight god’s
endlessly gentle touch, as he led,
hurt her like too great an intimacy.
She was no longer that blonde woman,
sometimes touched on in the poet’s songs,
no longer the wide bed’s scent and island,
and that man’s possession no longer.
She was already loosened like long hair,
given out like fallen rain,
shared out like a hundredfold supply.
She was already root.
And when suddenly
the god stopped her and, with anguish in his cry,
uttered the words: ‘He has turned round’ –
she comprehended nothing and said softly: ‘Who?’
But far off, darkly before the bright exit,
stood someone or other, whose features
were unrecognizable. Who stood and saw
how on the strip of path between meadows,
with mournful look, the god of messages
turned, silently, to follow the figure
already walking back by that same path,
her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.
~Rainer Marie Rilke
Art Source: Elsie Russell: Loss of Eurydice
Pets Vital To Human Evolution
We knew that.
* Meat-eating and animal domestication separated humans from other apes.
* Taking in animals is uniquely human and seems counterproductive at first.
* Hunting and caring for animals drove the development of technology and languages.
Read the entire article (Oh, you need a pop-up blocker on discovery.com)
Heard in stumble: “That’s just an excuse to post cats.” And your point? ~XineAnn
Thank you for sending me this, Comely1
My Little Boy
MY little boy is to go to school.
We can’t keep him at home any longer, says his mother. He himself is glad to go, of course, because he does not know what school is.
I know what it is and I know also that there is no escape for him, that he must go. But I am sick at heart. All that is good within me revolts against the inevitable.
So we go for our last morning walk, along the road where something wonderful has always happened to us. It looks to me as if the trees have crape wound round their tops and the birds sing in a minor key and the people stare at me with earnest and sympathetic eyes.
But my little boy sees nothing. He is only excited at the prospect. He talks and asks questions without stopping. We sit down by the edge of our usual ditch alas, that ditch !
And suddenly my heart triumphs over my understanding. The voice of my clear conscience penetrates through the whole well-trained and harmonious choir which is to give the concert; and it sings its solo in the ears of my little boy :
“I just want to tell you that school is a horrid place,” I say. “You can have no conception of what you will have to put up with there. They will tell you that two and two are four. . . .”
“Mother has taught me that already,” says he, blithely.
“Yes, but that is wrong, you poor wretch!” I cry. “Two and two are never four, or only very seldom. And that’s not all. They will try to make you believe that Teheran is the capital of Persia and that Mont Blanc is 15,781 feet high and you will take them at their word. But I tell you that both Teheran and Persia are nothing at all, an empty sound, a stupid joke. And Mont Blanc is not half as big as the mound in the tallow-chandler’s back-garden. And listen: you will never have any more time to play in the courtyard with Einar. When he shouts to you to come out, you’ll have to sit and read about a lot of horrible old kings who have been dead for hundreds and hundreds of years, if they ever existed at all, which I, for my part, simply don’t believe.”
My little boy does not understand me. But he sees that I am sad and puts his hand in mine :
“Mother says that you must go to school to become a clever boy,” he says. “Mother says that Einar is ever so much too small and stupid to go to school.”
I bow my head and nod and say nothing.
That is past.
And I take him to school and see how he storms up the steps without so much as turning his head to look back at me.
~Carl Ewald, 1909
Translated by Alexander Teixeira De Mattos
Sometimes Comes Wolf
Everything’s foreseeable. Everything has already been foreseen. What has been fated cannot be avoided. Even this boiled potato, this fork. This chunk of dark bread. This thought too…. My grandmother sweeping the sidewalk knows that. She says there’s no God, only an eye here and there that sees clearly. The neighbors are too busy watching TV to burn her as a witch.
~Charles Simic, from his Pulitzer Prize winning book of poetry, The World Doesn’t End
I remember walking along lower State Street in Santa Barbara early one morning, looking in the windows of the antique and junk stores, and thinking to myself how so much of civilization seems like stuff that just washed up on the beach. And now look! It’s for sale. In New York. That’s so right somehow.
from the page:
More goodies…..Knights Templar Skull & Crossbones apron….Child size Polio braces, 1940’s composition advertising mannequin, German wax medical models of various burns to the hand, 1950’s snapshots of a man and his cat. Victorian taxidermy mount of a yellow canary under glass dome…..Lots more to add….
I have some additions to this list of words in other languages that don’t have English equivalents.
Saudade (Portuguese) – Missing something or someone that may not even exist.
Other favorites not on this page:
Schadenfreude (German): Taking delight in the misfortune of another.
And Oofda (Norwegian): Indicates sensory overload. An expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay. The term has been heard among men when a particularly attractive woman enters a room, or depending on the tone of voice, when a particularly unattractive woman enters the room. [ Also, something one might say when stepping in cold cat barf upon getting out of bed. ~XineAnn ]
Gemutlichkeit (German): cozy content time with people you care about.
Tartle – Scottish: to hesitate when you are introducing someone whose name you can’t quite remember.
Some words I liked here:
Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods.
Esprit de l’escalier (French): A witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs.
Meraki (Greek): This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be. Meraki is often used to describe cooking or preparing a meal, but it can also mean arranging a room, choosing decorations, or setting an elegant table.
The rest of the list:
Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time
Taarradhin (Arabic): a way of resolving a problem without anyone losing face (not the same as our concept of a compromise – everyone wins)
Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery
Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally “a meal eaten sideways”, referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language:
Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.
Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favour, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favour to be repaid.
Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions
Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbour’s house until there is nothing left
Radioukacz (Polish): a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain
Selathirupavar (Tamil): a word used to define a certain type of absence without official leave in face of duty
Also, suggested by Seb: Pakikisama (Tagalog): Valuing friendships in a group over individual momentary interests.
From DayWhite: Sabsung (Thai) , the literal definition being, “to slake an emotional or spiritual thirst; to be revitalized.” When life becomes a desert, sabsung is what you, personally, need to come back to life; it’s your ladle of water, your quiet time, a beer and the game, a bubble bath, whatever it takes for you to keep going after a hard day. It’s like the effect some people can have on you. They make you happy to be alive, reawaken you to the fact that you are actually alive. That’s sabsung.
From Inga: ilunga – Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offence.