Friday, September 28, 2007

Amid the nervous chatter of the figures, the Medusa-like character of life emerges from the shadows: What is senseless, enigmatic, solitary, the deaf and lifeless misunderstanding between those who love; the dark conscience, as of a fault committed; the presentiment at dawn of escaped infinities; and the many things that fall like frost and rust on overly refined souls.

- Hugo von Hofmannsthal


Iron bones, which contain the noblest marrow,
can be won only by the common bite of all dogs.

- Franz Kafka

Oblivion is our future, unless it be our past.

- Sviatoslav Richter

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Like Whitman, Chesterton thought that the mere fact of existing is so prodigious that no misfortune should exempt us from a kind of cosmic gratitude.

- Jorge Luis Borges

Monday, September 24, 2007

That'll cause tears to fall

It rained, it poured, it rained so hard,
It rained so hard all day,
That all the boys in our school
Came out to toss and play.

They tossed a ball again so high,
Then again, so low;
They tossed it into a flower garden
Where no-one was allowed to go.

Up stepped a gypsy lady,
All dressed in yellow and green;
"Come in, come in, my pretty little boy,
And get your ball again."

"I can't come in, I shan't come in
Without my playmates all;
I'll go to my father and tell him about it,
That'll cause tears to fall."

She first showed him an apple seed,
Then again gold rings,
Then she showed him a diamond,
That enticed him in.

She took him by his lily-white hand,
She led him through the hall;
She put him in an upper room,
Where no-one could hear him call.

"Oh, take these finger rings off my finger,
Smoke them with your breath;
If any of my friends should call for me,
Tell them that I'm at rest."

"Bury the bible at my head,
A testament at my feet;
If my dear mother should call for me,
Tell her that I'm asleep."

"Bury the bible at my feet,
A testament at my head;
If my dear father should call for me,
Tell him that I am dead."

The Fatal Flower Garden - Trad.
(we recommend listening to the version by
the Nelstone's Hawaiians)

to play with long gone children

I believe I am already able to admit it,
I vaguely feel I would like to die.

- Marguerite Duras, L'Amant

last walks

from: Solvitur ambulando by James Walsh

Friday, September 21, 2007

last houses

Inside Sir Richard Burton's mausoleum.

'Burton, disguised as an Afghani, made the pilgrimage
to the holy cities of Arabia; his voice begged the Lord
to deny his bones and skin...'

- Borges

Guest entry by Barry O'Connor

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Every dead person is a vampire, the unloved ones excepted.

Friedrich Hebbel, Diary of Jan. 31, 1831

last walks


shameful and unforgivable: not keeping up with the pace of the horse, he let himself down into the saddle, and all at once his position shifted and he realized that something terrible had happened...Vronsky was touching the ground with one foot, and his horse was sinking on that foot. He barely managed to free his foot, when she fell on her side, snorting harshly, and, making vain efforts to rise with her slender sweating neck, she fluttered on the ground at his feet like a wounded bird.
The clumsy movement which Vronsky had made had broken her back.

But he realized this much later...And now he stood swaying on the dusty, unmoving ground; before him, panting deeply, lay Frou-Frou, and, bending her head back, she looked at him with her charming eyes. Not yet understanding what had happened, Vronsky tugged at the horse by the rains. She fluttered again like a fish, shaking the flaps of the saddle, and straightened out her front legs, but having no strength to pick up the rear, at once tangled herself up and again
fell on her side.
With a pale face, disfigured by passion and with his lower jaw trembling, Vronsky kicked her in the stomach with his heel and again started tugging at the rains.
She did not stir, but burying her nose in the ground, only stared at her master with her expressive eyes.

"Aaa!" groaned Vronsky, clutching his head, "Ah, what have I done," he cried. "The race is lost! And it's my own fault, shameful, unforgivable!
And this poor, dear, ruined horse! ... What have I
For the first time in his life he experienced the most extreme misery, an irredeemable misery, and one for which he was himself responsible.

Part II, Chapter XXVI

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

last walks

'why do horses take so long to die?'

Monday, September 17, 2007

I was born when she kissed me.
I died when she left me,
I lived a few a few weeks
while she loved me.

In A Lonely Place

last walks

Elizabeth von Wittelsbach, Empress of Austria, suffered from a phobia of being looked at. (She always hid from stares behind fans, parasols, and flight.) Her assassin stuck an ice pick in her heart without looking at her. Had she died amid lace under canopies, the doctor would have made her suffer much more by looking into her face.
- Guido Ceronetti

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange nichts von mir vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben!
Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.
Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgetümmel,
Und ruh' in einem stillen Gebiet!
Ich leb' allein in meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied!
Gustav Mahler - Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen

Sunday, September 9, 2007

One of the saddest things about leaving this world
is not hearing Das Lied von der Erde ever again.

- Jascha Horenstein, shortly before his death in 1973.