NL: Passerdersgracht 20D, 1016 XH Amsterdam
BG: Tsar Ivan Asen II, 28, 1224 Sofia
Time was when God judged.
but who judges now?
Does the united
People judge? The holy fellowship?
No! O no! but who judges now?
a generation of vipers! gutless and false
the noble word no more
Passing the lips
O in the name
You, demon of old, down
I resolved that at some future date I, too, would do my work so slowly, so thoughtfully, so silently, uninfluenced by anyone who happened to be present, in perfect independence, without encouragement, without praise, expecting nothing, demanding nothing, without ulterior motive of any kind. Whatever this future work might be, it would have to be comparable to this painting, which ennobled the painter and with him the chance witness.
The light work sheds is a beautiful light, which however, only shines with real beauty if it is illuminated by yet another light.
I will sing of bareness a new song,
for true purity is without thought.
Thoughts may not be there,
so I have lost the Mine:
I am decreated.*
Duration is my redemption,
it allows me to walk and to be.
Inspired by duration,
I am also those others who stood at Griffen Lake before my time,
who will circle the Porte d’Auteuil after me,
with whom, all of them, I will have walked
to the Fontaine Sainte-Marie.
Braced by duration,
I, a fleeting being,
carry my predecessors and posterity on my shoulders,
a load that lifts.
That is why duration was called a grace,
and don’t its images and tones have
the requisite shimmer and sound?
Warmth, clarity, purity, order, the word-for-word, the in-between spaces especially, the pauses, silence, calm. It seems to me that the book, as I understand it, is the embodiment, the human embodiment of this pole star.
Where are we going? The sea has neither destinations
Nor logic of paths…
The previous night, I had taken in the details of the valley, but now I saw them as letters, as a series of signs, beginning with the grass-pulling horse and combining to form a coherent script. I now interpreted this land before my eyes, with the objects, whether lying, standing, or leaning, which rose up from it, this describable earth, as “the world”. And so my further progress in that predawn hour became a deciphering, a continued reading, a transcribing, a silent taking of notes. And I then distinguished two bearers of the world: on the one hand, the earth’s surface that supported the horse, the hanging gardens, and the wooden huts; and on the other hand, the decipherer, who had shouldered these things in the form of their hallmarks and signs. And I literally felt my shoulders broaden in my brother’s too-spacious coat and – because the perception and combination of signs operated as a counterweight to the burden of material things – straighten up as though my deciphering transformed the weight of the earth into a single freely flying word, consisting entirely of vowels, such a word as the Latin Eoae
, translatable as “At the time of Eos”, “At dawn”, or simply, “In the morning”.
The journeys of men should lead to where they have come from.
Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that, even from my youth, I had accepted many false opinions for true, and that consequently everything I afterwards based on such principles was highly doubtful; and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of ridding myself, for once and for all in my life, of all the opinions I had adopted… Today, then, since I have opportunely freed my mind from all cares (and am happily disturbed by no passions), and since I am in the secure possession of leisure in a peaceable retirement, I will at length apply myself earnestly and freely to the general destruction of all my former opinions.*
There is an oblivion of all existence, a silencing of individual being, in which it seems that we have found all things. There is an oblivion of all existence, in which it seems that we have lost all things, a night of the soul in which not the faintest gleam of a star, not even the phosphorescence of rotten wood, can reach us.*
I wandered through the courtyards and galleries, on the ramparts and glacis, in the fortified and covered ways, and along the watchman’s paths. It seemed to me I was inside someone’s head. This masterly, complicated, and well-conceived construction of impregnable breastworks, bastions, salients, and redoubts appeared to me like a petrified cast of the brain, and in these halls of stone, among the iron grilles and the chevaux de frise
, I stumped along on my crutches, aggressive and vicious as a crippled thought inside the mind of man, thought in its solitude, thought in its liberty. Every opening on to the outside world is an embrasure for a cannon