Thursday, March 29, 2007

It Robbed Them of Words...

“it robbed them of words, this silence, almost of thoughts as well, and she remained sitting there as before, with her gaze toward the darkness of the foyer, and he remained standing there, leaning over her, staring down at the plaid of her silk lap, and unconsciously, seduced by the gentle silence, he began to rock her in the chair, very gently, very gently…”

“It was like the strange vegetation of the lake bottom, seen through milky ice. Break up the ice or pull what is dimly alive out into the light of words, and the same thing happens – what can now be seen and grasped is, in its clarity, no longer the gentle obscurity that it was.”


~ Text: Jens Peter Jacobsen, Marie Grubbe

~ Image: Josef Sudek, from Josek Sudek, Anna Farova, 1999

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Sea Bell's Angelus...

Also pray for those who were in ships, and
Ended their voyage on the sand, in the sea's lips
Or in the dark throat which will not reject them
Or wherever cannot reach them the sound of the sea bell's
Perpetual angelus.


And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.


~ Text: T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

~ Image: Lighthouses and Lightships, W. H. Davenport Adams, London, 1870

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Delicate Snow-veins...

"In summer as the sun and temperate winds melt the snow on the steep gradients, the horns soar up, as the mountain people say, black into the sky, their surface marked only by exquisite little flecks and snow-veins. These veins, however, are not really white but the delicate milky blue of the distant snow on the darker blue rocks."

"Now they surmounted monstrous debris; now found themselves again on the icefield. Today in the bright sun, they were able for the first time to see what it was like. In size it was stupendous, and beyond towered yet more sombre rocks; wave after wave heaved up, as it were, and the snow-covered ice, compressed and buckling, seemed to be pushing down upon the children and threatening to flow over their very bodies..."

~ Aldabert Stifter's Rock Crystal

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Beneath the Ice, Spring Flowers...

from Snow Crystals by W.A. Bentley and W.J. Hunphreys, Dover Pres

"Recently I dreamed I flew over a round, fragile sheet of ice, as thin and transparent as a windowpane, and curving up and down like glassy waves. Beneath the ice, spring flowers were growing. As if raised up by a spirit, I floated back and forth and was pleased by the effortless motion. In the middle of the lake was a temple which turned out to be a tavern. I went in, ordered coffee and cakes, and ate and drank and afterward smoked a cigarette. When I left and resumed my exercise, the mirror broke and I sank into the depths, among the flowers, which admitted me with a friendly welcome. How nice it is that spring follows winter every time."


~ Images: William Bentley, Snowflakes

~ Text: "Winter" in Robert Walser: Selected Stories

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Everything Was a Silence and a Waiting...

“ On this thin, scarcely real, and yet so perceptible sensation the whole room hung as on a faintly trembling axis, and this in its turn rested on the two people in the room. The objects all around held their breath, the light on the walls froze into golden lace…everything was a silence and a waiting and was there because of them. Time, which runs through the world like an endless tinsel thread, seemed to pass through the centre of this room and through the centre of these people and suddenly to pause and petrify, stiff and still and glittering…and the objects in the room drew a little closer together. It was that standstill and then that faint settling which occurs when planes all at once assume order and crystal forms: a crystal, forming here round these two people, the centre of it corresponding to their centre – two people gazing at each other through this holding of the breath and this ensphering, this converging upon them, of everything, and gazing at each other as through thousands of mirroring planes, seeing each other as for the first time…”


~ Text: Robert Musil, The Perfecting of a Love, Nonpareil Books, Boston, 1986

~ Image: Hilma af Klint, Series SUW, Group 4, No. 14, Swan, 1915

Monday, March 12, 2007

Aquis submersus...

My old wounds seared me; and, strangely enough, I became aware of something I had never heard before: the surf breaking on the shore of the sea far away. There was no human being to meet me, and I did not hear the cry of a single bird; but out of the dull roaring of the sea, the water sang the words to me over and over, the words of the dark lullaby: Aquis submersus, aquis submersus.


~ Text: The Rider on the White Horse, Theodor Storm, 1888

~ Image: Point Reyes Lighthouse by Eadweard Muybridge, 1870

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Now a Folding Takes Place...

now a folding takes place

that takes your breath away

heartswells become the altarpiece of your hands

they hover

toward you, my quiet one,

my true one


~ Images by Gisèle Celan-Lestrange from Correspondance Paul Celan, Gisèle Celan-Lestrange : (1951-1970), Paris : Éditions du Seuil, 2001

~ Text fragments by Paul Celan