“The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the think mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where construction has stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone in the forest at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligent perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows. Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, the rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.”— Thomas Merton
It happens surprisingly fast, the way your shadow leaves you. All day you’ve been linked by the light, but now that darkness gathers the world in a great black tide, your shadow leaves you to join the sea of all other shadows. If you stand here long enough, you, too, will forget your lines and merge with the tall grass and old trees, with the crows and the flooding river—all these pieces of the world that daylight has broken into objects of singular loneliness. It happens surprisingly fast, the loss of your shadow, and standing in the field, you become the field, and standing in the night, you are gathered by night. Invisible birds sing to the memory of light but then even those separate songs fade into the one big silence that always seems to be waiting.
When I wrote of the women in their dances and wildness, it was a mask, on their mountain, gold-hunting, singing, in orgy, it was a mask; when I wrote of the god, fragmented, exiled from himself, his life, the love gone down with song, it was myself, split open, unable to speak, in exile from myself.
There is no mountain, there is no god, there is memory of my torn life, myself split open in sleep, the rescued child beside me among the doctors, and a word of rescue from the great eyes.
No more masks! No more mythologies!
Now, for the first time, the god lifts his hand, the fragments join in me with their own music.
Spinning a yarn … King Golden Hair, one of the newly-discovered fairytales. Illustration: Barbara Stefan
A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810–1886) in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting the fairytales that have since charmed adults and children around the world.
“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain.”—Saint Bartholomew (via thelittlesea)
“The heart cannot be broken. The heart can be wounded and cause the whole universe to appear as one vast writhing place of anguish. But the heart knows no limits in its ability to endure suffering and torment. Were it otherwise the race would have perished long ago.”—Henry Miller, Nights of Love and Laughter (via ituccio)