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A Pearl in an Oyster

Picasso

Picasso

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Use this thread to post your favorite pages of books you have read. It’s not strictly one page; it can be more, but not a chapter!

So pearl divers set your sails and catch some priceless oysters!

I begin with the Emperor: Bonaparte!
 
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  • Picasso

    Picasso

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    Le soir tomba tôt sur une bataille sans vainqueur. Napoléon et les officiers de sa Maison quittèrent la tuilerie en cortège pour la tente impériale dressée la veille sur les gazons de l’île. Ils avançaient au pas sur une voie encombrée de caissons vides, de pièces d’artillerie démontées, de chevaux solitaires et affolés, de lentes colonnes de blessés que guidaient les ambulanciers. A la butée du petit pont, l’Empereur blêmit. Il avait d’abord vu un major des cuirassiers qui pleurait en silence. Il avait ensuite reconnu le docteur Yvan, puis Larrey, penchés vers un patient qu’on installait sur un lit de branches de chêne et de manteaux. C’était Lannes, dont Marbot maintenait la tête à demi levée. Il avait un visage livide, déformé par la douleur, et suait à grosses gouttes. Un linge rouge serrait sa cuisse gauche. L’Empereur demanda qu’on le descende de cheval et fut auprès du maréchal en peu d’enjambées. Il s’accroupit à son chevet:

    - Lannes, mon ami, tu me reconnais?

    Le maréchal ouvrit les yeux mais resta muet.

    - Il est très affaibli, Sire, murmura Larrey.
    - Mais il me reconnaît, hein?
    - Oui je te reconnais, chuchota le maréchal, mais dans une heure tu auras perdu ton meilleur soutien…
    - Stupidità! Tu nous seras conservé. N’est-ce pas, Messieurs?
    - Oui Sire, dit Larrey avec onction.
    - Puisque Votre Majesté le veut, ajouta Yvan.
    - Tu les entends?
    - Je les entends…
    - A Vienne, dit Napoléon, un médecin a fabriqué une jambe artificielle pour un général autrichien…
    - Mesler, dit Yvan.
    - C’est ça, Bessler, et il te fera une jambe, et la semaine prochaine nous irons à la chasse!

    L’Empereur prit le maréchal dans ses bras. Celui-ci lui confia à l’oreille, de manière que personne d’autre ne puisse entendre:

    - Arrête cette guerre au plus vite, c’est le voeu général. N’écoute pas ton entourage. Ils te flattent, ils se courbent mais ils ne t’aiment pas. Ils te trahiront. D’ailleurs ils te trahissent déjà en te voilant toujours la vérité…

    Le docteur Yvan intervint:

    - Sire, Son Excellence Monsieur le duc de Montebello est à bout, il doit épargner ses forces, il ne doit pas trop parler.

    L’Empereur se releva, fronça les sourcils, resta un instant debout à contempler le corps du maréchal Lannes. Son gilet était taché de sang. Il se tourna vers Caulaincourt:

    - Passons sur l’île.
    - Le petit pont n’est guère praticable, Sire.
    - Su presto, sbrigatevi! Vite! Dépêchez-vous! Imaginez une solution!

    L’Empereur ne pouvait emprunter sans inconvénients un petit pont que les charpentiers consolidaient, gênés dans leurs travaux par le flux incessant des mutilés. Ces malheureux tremblaient de fièvre et de fureur, ils se bousculaient, se marchaient dessus, se poussaient, se retenaient, aux cordages et aux amarres qui cassaient parfois, se chamaillaient, s’insultaient; on en voyait qui plongeaient dans les vagues, ou s’engageaient sans hésiter avec leurs chevaux dans le tumulte des eaux. Caulaincourt fit libérer l’un des pontons, s’assura qu’il était étanche et solide, choisit dix rameurs parmi les marins du génie les plus robustes, et l’Empereur, dans le crépuscule, debout au milieu de cette embarcation à la dérive, échoua sur la Lobau deux cents mètres plus en aval.

    Il traversa à pied des taillis et des bandes de sable où se tassaient des milliers de moribonds, et ceux-ci tendaient les bras vers lui comme s’il avait le pouvoir de guérir, mais l’Empereur fixait son regard droit devant et ses officiers le protégeaient en l’entourant. Il arriva à sa tente, un grand pavillon de coutil rayé bleu ciel et blanc. Constant l’y attendait, il l’aida à ôter sa redingote et sa veste verte. Tout en changeant son gilet de casimir taché du sang de Lannes, l’Empereur grogna entre ses dents:

    - Ecrivez!

    Le secrétaire, installé dans l’antichambre sur un coussin, trempa sa plume dans l’encrier.

    - Le maréchal Lannes. Ses dernières paroles. Il m’a dit: “Je désire vivre si je peux vous servir… “
    - Vous servir, répétait le secrétaire qui griffonnait sur son escritoire portative.
    - Ajoutez: “Ainsi que notre France”…
    - J’ajoute.
    - “Mais je crois qu’avant une heure vous aurez perdu celui qui fut votre meilleur ami…”

    Et Napoléon renifla. Il se tut. Le secrétaire restait la plume en l’air.

    - Berthier!
    - Il n’est pas encore sur l’île, dit un aide de camp à l’entrée de la tente.
    - Et Masséna? Il est mort?
    - Je n’en sais rien, Sire.
    - Non, Masséna, ce n’est pas le genre. Qu’il vienne tout de suite!


    La Bataille
    Patrick Rambaud
    Grasset
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

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    LASCIATE OGNI SPERANZA


    In the Middle Ages when a building was complete there was almost as much of it underground as above. A palace, a fortress, a church, always had a double basement, unless it stood on piles like Notre-Dame. Under a cathedral there was a kind of subterranean church, low, dark, mysterious, blind, and mute, beneath the upper nave, which was resplendent with light and rang with the pealing of organs and bells, night and day; sometimes it was a catacomb. In palaces in bastilles, it was a prison, sometimes a sepulcher, and sometimes both together. These mighty edifices, the mode of whose formation and vegetation we have elsewhere described, had not merely foundations but, as it were, roots, which shot out into the soil in chambers, in galleries, in staircases, like the buildings above them. Thus churches, palaces, bastilles, were buried up to the middle in the ground. The vaults of a building were another building, to which you descended instead of ascending, and which installed their subterraneous stories beneath the exterior stories, like those woods and mountains that appear upside down in the mirror of a lake beneath the woods and mountains rising from its banks.

    In the Bastille St.-Antoine, in the Palace of Justice, in the Louvre, these subterraneous edifices were prisons. The stories of these prisons became smaller and gloomier the lower you descended. They were so many zones pervaded by different shades of horror. Dante could not find anything more suitable for his hell. These craterlike dungeons usually terminated in a deep hole gradually widening from the bottom upward, in which Dante has placed his Satan but where society confined culprits under sentence of death. Once a miserable wretch was buried there, farewell to light, to air, to life, to every hope; there was no leaving the place except for the gallows or the stake. Sometimes the prisoner was left there to rot; human justice called this forgetting. The condemned felt himself cut off from his kind by a gigantic mountain of stones and a host of jailers; and the entire prison, the massive fortress, was nothing but one enormous complicated lock, which shut him off from the living world.

    Into a dungeon of this kind __ the prison cells dug by St. Louis, the in pace of the Tournelle __ La Esmeralda was thrust after her condemnation, no doubt for fear of escape, with the colossal Palace of Justice over her head. Poor girl! She could not have stirred the smallest of the stones of which it was built. Certainly, Fate and society had been equally unjust. Such an excess of misery and torture was not needed to crush so frail a creature.

    There she was, wrapped in darkness, buried, entombed, walled up. Whoever saw her in this state after having seen her laughing and dancing in the sun would have shuddered. Cold as night, cold as death, not a breath of air in her dark locks, not a human sound in her ear, not a glimmer of light in her eyes, weighted down with chains, bent double, crouched beside a pitcher and a loaf of bread, on a little straw, in the pool formed beneath her by the water that dripped from the walls of her dungeon, motionless and scarcely breathing __ she was almost beyond suffering. Phoebus, the sun, the daylight, the free air, the streets of Paris, the dances to such applause, the prattle of love with the officer; then the priest, the old woman, the dagger, the blood, the torture, the gallows; all this had again passed before her mind, sometimes like a gay and golden vision, at others like a hideous nightmare: but it was now no more than a horrible and indistinct struggle, which was veiled in darkness, or distant music played above on the earth, which was not heard at the depths to which the unfortunate creature was sunk. Since she had been there she had not awakened, she had not slept. In this profound wretchedness, in the gloom of this dungeon, she could no more distinguish waking from sleeping, dream from reality, than night from day. She had ceased to feel, to know, to think. At the very most she dreamed. Never had a living creature been plunged se deeply into nothingness.

    Thus numbed, frozen, and petrified, she scarcely noticed the noise of a trapdoor, which had opened two or three times somewhere near her, but without admitting a glimmer of light, and through which a hand had thrown down to her a crust of black bread. It was nevertheless the sole communication with mankind still left to her __ the periodical visit of the jailer. Only one sound automatically engaged her hearing. Above her head dampness filtered through the mossy stones of the vaulted roof, and a drop of water fell from it at equal intervals. She listened stupidly to the noise made by this drop falling into the pool of water by her side. This was the only motion still perceptible around her, the only clock that marked the lapse of time, the only noise that reached her of all the noises that are made on the face of the earth. To leave nothing out, she did indeed sometimes feel, in the dark and filthy muddiness of her abode, something cold crawling around on her foot or her arm, and she shuddered.

    * Lasciate Ogni Spernza: “Leave all hope behind,” a fragment of the inscription engraved on the gates of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy.



    The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
    Victor Hugo
    Revised translation by Catherine Liu
    The Modern Library
     
    Picasso

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    Thus is the earth at once a desert and a paradise, rich in secret hidden gardens, gardens inaccessible, but to which the craft leads us ever back, one day or another. Life may scatter us and keep us apart; it may prevent us from thinking very often of one another; but we know that our comrades are somewhere "out there"_ where, one can hardly say_ silent, forgotten, but deeply faithful. And when our path crosses theirs, they greet us with such manifest joy, shake us so gaily by the shoulders! Indeed we are accustomed to waiting.

    Bit by bit, nevertheless, it comes over us that we shall never again hear the laughter of our friend, that this one garden is forever locked against us. And at that moment begins our true mourning, which, though it may not be rending, is yet a little bitter. For nothing, in truth, can replace that companion. Old friends cannot be created out of hand. Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions. It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.

    So life goes on. For years we plant the seed, we feel ourselves rich; and then come other years when time does its work and our plantation is made sparse and thin. One by one, our comrades slip away, deprive us of their shade.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    Wind, Sand and Stars
    Harcourt Brace & Company

     
    Picasso

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    "I repeat, moderate your expectations, don't demand of me 'everything great and noble,' and you'll see how well we shall get on," said the gentleman impressively. "You are really angry with me for not having appeared to you in a red glow, with thunder and lightning, with scorched wings, but have shown myself in such a modest form. You are wounded, in the first place, in your aesthetic feelings, and, secondly, in your pride. How could such a vulgar devil visit such a great man as you! Yes, there is that romantic strain in you, that was so derided by Byelinsky. I can't help it, young man, as I got ready to come to you I did think as a joke of appearing in the figure of a retired general who had served in the Caucasus, with a star of the Lion and the Sun on my coat. But I was positively afraid of doing it, for you'd have thrashed me for daring to pin the Lion and the Sun on my coat, instead of, at least, the Polar Star or the Sirius. And you keep on saying I am stupid, but, mercy on us! I make no claim to be equal to you in intelligence. Mephistopheles declared to Faust that he desired evil, but did only good. Well, he can say what he likes, it's quite the opposite with me. I am perhaps the one man in all creation who loves the truth and genuinely desires good. I was there when the Word, Who died on the Cross, rose up into heaven bearing on His bosom the soul of the penitent thief. I heard the glad shrieks of the cherubim singing and shouting hosannah and the thunderous rapture of the seraphim which shook heaven and all creation, and I swear to you by all that's sacred, I longed to join the choir and shout hosannah with them all. The word had almost escaped me, had almost broken from my lips... you know how susceptible and aesthetically impressionable I am. But common sense -- oh, a most unhappy trait in my character -- kept me in due bounds and I let the moment pass! For what would have happened, I reflected, what would have happened after my hosannah? Everything on earth would have been extinguished at once and no events could have occurred. And so, solely from a sense of duty and my social position, was forced to suppress the good moment and to stick to my nasty task. Somebody takes all the credit of what's good for Himself, and nothing but nastiness is left for me. But I don't envy the honour of a life of idle imposture, I am not ambitious. Why am I, of all creatures in the world, doomed to be cursed by all decent people and even to be kicked, for if I put on mortal form I am bound to take such consequences sometimes? I know, of course, there's a secret in it, but they won't tell me the secret for anything, for then perhaps, seeing the meaning of it, I might bawl hosannah, and the indispensable minus would disappear at once, and good sense would reign supreme throughout the whole world. And that, of course, would mean the end of everything, even of magazines and newspapers, for who would take them in? I know that at the end of all things I shall be reconciled. I, too, shall walk my quadrillion and learn the secret. But till that happens I am sulking and fulfil my destiny though it's against the grain -- that is, to ruin thousands for the sake of saving one. How many souls have had to be ruined and how many honourable reputations destroyed for the sake of that one righteous man, Job, over whom they made such a fool of me in old days! Yes, till the secret is revealed, there are two sorts of truths for me -- one, their truth, yonder, which I know nothing about so far, and the other my own. And there's no knowing which will turn out the better.... Are you asleep?"

    The Brothers Karamazov
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
     
    Picasso

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    مع ذلك، أُبادرُ إلى القول إنّ غايتي في هذا البحث ليستِ القولَ إنّ الصوفيّةَ والسورّياليّةَ شيءٌ واحد، أو إنّ الأولى بوصفها تجربةً متقدّمةً زمنيّاً، أثّرت على الثانية، بشكلٍ مباشرٍ أو مُداوِر. إنّ غايتي هي التوكيد على أنّ في الوجودِ جانباً باطناً، لا مَرْئيّاً، مجهولاً، وأنّ معرفتَهُ لا تتمُّ بالطرق المنطقيّة – العقلانيّة، وأنّ الإنسانَ دونَه، دونَ محاولةِ الوصولِ إليه، كائنٌ ناقصُ الوجودِ والمعرفة، وأنّ الطرُقَ إليهِ خاصّةٌ وشخصيّة، وأننا نجدُ استناداً إلى ذلك، قراباتٍ وتآلفاتٍ بينَ جميعِ الاتجاهات التي تحاولُ أن تستشرفَ هذا الغيب، وبينها، بخاصّةٍ، الصوفيّة والسورياليّة. فالتجاربُ الكُبرى في معرفة الجانب الخفيّ من الوجود تتلاقى، بشكلٍ أو آخر، فيما وراءَ اللغات، وفيما وراءَ العصور، وفيما وراءَ الثقافات. وسوفَ أحاولُ أن أصفَ هذا التلاقي بينَ الصوفيّة والسوريالية، وأن أوضحَ أنّ كُلّاً منهما سلكتِ الطريقَ المعرفيَّ نفسَه، لكن بأسماءٍ مختلفة، ومن أجلِ غاياتٍ مختلفة. فالمنهج واحد، وفي تطبيقِ هذا المَنهَج مُشابَهاتٌ كثيرة تدفع إلى القول بأنّ السوريالية صوفيّة وثنيّة، أو بلا إله، وغايتُها التماهي مع المُطْلَق، وبأنّ الصوفيّة سوريالية تقومُ على البحثِ عن المطلق والتماهي هي أيضاً معه.

    نعم، في لحظةٍ ما، يشعرُ الإنسانُ أنّهُ في حاجةٍ إلى مَن يتحدّثُ معهُ خارجَ الكتب، وخارجَ العقل، وخارجَ العلم. مع شجرة، أو حجر، جبلٍ أو نهر.

    وفي مثلِ هذه اللحظة، يشعرُ الإنسانُ أنّ فكرَهُ ليسَ في رأسه وحدَه، وإنما هو في جسده كُلِّه. وقد يكون، أحياناً، أكثرَ حُضوراً حتى في القدمَيْنِ منهُ في الرأس. يشعرُ أنّ الفكرَ هو هذه الوحدة العميقة بينَ جسدَيْنِ لا بين فكرتَيْن، وأنهُ في حاجةٍ إلى الاتحاد مع موجةٍ، مثلاً، أكثرَ مما هو في حاجةٍ إلى الكلام مع إنسانٍ آخر.

    ويتأكّدُ لهُ أنّ الحقيقة، في مثل هذه اللحظة لا تجيءُ من خارج – من الكتاب، أو الشرع، أو القانون، أو الأفكار والتعاليم، وإنما تجيءُ من داخل، من التجربة الحَيّة، من الحُبّ ومن التواصل الحَيّ مع الأشياءِ والكَوْن. ويتجلّى لهُ أنّ الإنسانَ ظامئٌ أبداً إلى أن يُجَسِّدَ ويتجسّد، لا أن يفْصِلَ ويَنْفصِل. ظامئٌ إلى الوحدة لا إلى التجريد، وإلى المشاركة إلى الهَيْمَنة. ويوقِنُ أنّ الله، إن كانَ خارجَ الوجود، ولا اتصالَ لهُ بالوجود إلا اتصالَ التكوين والهيمنة، فإنّ هذا العالمَ لن يكونَ أكثرَ من كُرَةٍ من الغُبار لا يستحقُّ أن يوجَد، ولا يستحقُّ بالأحرى أن يعيشَ فيهِ هذا الكائنُ العظيم: الإنسان. وسيكونُ هذا المخلوق، مع ذلك، أكثرَ أهميّةً من الخالق. وسيكونُ من نافلِ القول أن نَجْهَرَ: إذا لم يكُنِ الوجودُ إلا جَنّةً أو جحيماً فإنّهُ لن يكونَ إلا رهاناً، وسيكونُ هذا الرهان بليداً ومضحكاً، ولا يليقُ بالإنسان.

    في مثل هذه اللحظة أيضاً يزدادُ الإنسانُ يقيناً بأنّ في أعماقِهِ مُحيطاً بلا حدود، تُسَوِّرُهُ وتَلجمُهُ سُدودٌ وحواجز من كُلِّ نوع، وأنّ حياتَهُ ستظلّ زَبَداً، إن لم يهبطْ فيه، مُحَطِّماً سُدودَه وحواجزَه، حيثُ يرى ما لم يَرَه (ما لا يُرى) ويفكّر بما لم يُفَكّر فيه، ويُحِسُّ بما كانَ يُعْتَقَدُ أنّ أحداً لن يَحظى به – وحيثُ ينفتحُ له عِبْرَ هذا الهُبوط في هذا المحيط، عالمٌ ليسَ محدوداً بالأشياء، وإنما حُدودُه الفِكْر والخيال: لا حَدَّ لهُ إلا حَدّ الفكر والخيال.

    وريما كانت هذه اللحظة لحظةَ الحُبِّ بامتياز: ففي الحب يتجاوزُ كُلٌّ من الرجل والمرأة فردِيّتَه، في وحدةٍ يَشعُرانِ فيها أنهما أكثرُ مِمّا هُما، أنّهما الواقعُ والمُطلَق، الوجودُ وما وراءَه. ولا يعودُ كُلٌّ منهما إلا تَجَلِّياً للآخر. يَتجَلّى له، ويتَجلّى فيه، ويتجلّى منه، ويتجلّى عليه، ويتجلّى معه، ويتجلّى كَمِثْلِه.

    هذه اللحظة هي، على وَجهِ التحديد، المناخ الأساسيّ الذي تتلاقى فيه الصوفيّةُ والسورياليّة.

    أدونيس
    الصوفيّة والسورياليّة، ط.1، ص. 16-17
    دار الساقي

     
    Picasso

    Picasso

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    - À qui ai-je l'honneur? demanda-t-il , étonné qu'elle ne se présentât pas.

    - Marie...

    Elle hésitait à révéler son patronyme. Elle avait peur que son nom, qui avait ponctué tant de pages de la rubrique criminelle, endueuille ce visage, souille ce sourire d'enfant. Néanmoins, elle se risqua.

    - Marie Maurestier.

    - Enchanté de vous connaître, Marie Maurestier.


     
    Judy Abbott

    Judy Abbott

    Active Member
    اللّه من شتاء بيروت ! تنصبّ الأمطار ساعات دون انقطاع، كأنّ اللّه يفتح أبواب السماء ثمّ ينسى اقفالها !

    وقد مضى موعد الرجوع الى الكوخ، والأعرج ينتظر على ساحة البرج قابعاً تحت رفرف دكّان، والسيّارات تمرّ براكبيها ملفّعين بالثياب الصوفية الدافئة، وترسل اليه رشاش الوحول – شتائم الغنى الى الفقر ! – فتصبغ وجهه وتنفذ الى قطع الحلوى الباقية في صندوقته.

    أخيراً ملّ الانتظار وحدّثته نفسه، سرّاً، بالصعود الى الترامواي الذي جاء فوقف على المحطّة بالقرب منه. وكان لم يركبه الأّ مرة واحدة حينما أنقذه كريم من الصبيان المتآمرين عليه.

    نهض، وحمل صندوقته، وقدّم رجله العوجاء. ولكنه عاد ففكّر بعمّه ابراهيم. يجب أن يعطيه الحساب مضبوطاً. واذا نقص ماذا يقول له ؟ أيقول له انّه ركب الترامواي ؟ وأوشك الأعرج أن يضحك من نفسه. وسار الترامواي مسرعاً، وهو يرافقه بعينيه حتّى توارى عنه في المنعطف. ثمّ اقشعّر بدنه من البرد، ووصلت القشعريرة الى رجليه الحافيتين، فأخذ ينظر اليهما وقد غسل المطر منهما جانباً، وأحدث في الجانب الآخر سواقي صغيرة.

    وجاء الترامواي الثاني، فتمتم الأعرج بشتيمة متحدّياً الكون ! وصعد شادّاً صندوقته تحت ابطه. ولكنّ قاطع التذاكر ما كاد يراه في قذارته حتّى دفعه دفعة، فوقع في الشارع، وجاء رأسه في بركة وسخة، ودخل الماء الى فمه وأذنيه، ومرّت سيّارة مستعجلة على صندوقته فحطّمتها شرّ تحطيم

    ومرّ الترامواي بأزيزه، ومرّت السيّارة بهديرها، وقام الأعرج كتلة من الأسمال والأوحال… ولكنّه لم يبك. لم يحسّ بالألم. مسح وجهه بطرف قمبازه، ورفس أشلاء الصندوقة برجله العوجاء، ومشى.

    هذه المرّة، رأى العمّ ابراهيم من الأعرج ما لم يكن له به عهد. فجنّ جنونه وانكبّ عليه بالعصا بضربه دون نظام أينما جاءت الضربة، ودون حساب على قروش ولا قطع كاتو. ولم يعدّ الأعرج العصي وقد تجاوزت العدّ. وظلّ تحت الضرب لا يتجعّد له وجه، ولا تنزل له دمعة. مع أنّ العصا جاءت على عينه اليسرى وأورمتها فثقلت كقطعة من رصاص.

    واعترف الصبي بكلّ شيء: بأنّه ركب الترامواي، وحطّمت السّيارة صندوقته، وأكل ثلاث قطع كاتو. وسيأكل كلّ يوم مثلها وأكثر ! حتّى مزّق العمّ ابراهيم ثيابه، وودّ لو يستطيع نهش هذا الأعرج الملعون بأسنانه.

    وكان العمّ ابراهيم يسبّ الخالق لأنّه بلاه بالمرض، وهو يزحف في الكوخ على قفاه، غارزاً يديه في الأرض ، لاحقاً بالأعرج من جانب الى جانب، كالقطّة وراء فأرة صغيرة. حتّى تعب أخيراً واستلقى في زاويته…



    مرّت ساعة، ساعتان، والأعرج لا يغمض له جفن. وأبى تلك الليلة أن يطفىء القنديل. كان ينظر على ضوئه الشاحب الى أقسام الكوخ كأنّه يتعرّف اليه لأوّل مرّة. ثمّ سمع غطيطاً فرفع رأسه… كان العمّ ابراهيم غارقاً في النوم، والضوء يتماوج على حاجبيه الكثيفين، ولحيته الكثّة، وأنفه الطويل، وشاربيه المسترخيين، وذقنه الملتوي. ورأى فمه مفتوحاً, منفرج الشفتين.

    وكأنّ انفراجهما حفّز الأعرج، فأزاح الغطاء وركع على فراشه يريد الوقوف… يريد الهرب… بل يريد الانقضاض على هذا العمّ الوحش بالبوكس – كما علّمه كريم – وبالعصا المعلّقة هنا. العصا التي مضى عليها سنون وهي تأكل من جلده ولا تشبع ! هذه العصا نفسها يجب أن ترتدّ على الذي تعّود حملها عليه : على قفاه، وذراعيه، وكتفيه، ويافوخه.

    وانّ الأعرج ليهمّ، اذا بالعمّ ابراهيم يوقف غطيطه فجأة وينقلب على جنبه. فصعق الصبي في مكانه، وخيل اليه أنّ عمّه مطّلع على ما يجول في دماغه، وأنّه يفتح عينيه، وأنّ العصا تترك الحائط من تلقاء نفسها وتمشي اليه في فراشه…

    _ يا أعرج الملعون !

    يا أعرج الملعون ! سمع الأعرج الصرخة تطنّ في أذنيه فانحلّت عزيمته – عاد الى ثيابه العبد – وأرخى نفسه.

    بقلم الاديب الراحل توفيق يوسف عواد

    الصبي الاعرج
     
    Judy Abbott

    Judy Abbott

    Active Member
    CHRISTINA ROSENTHAL
    from the short story collection “A Twist in the Tale” by Jeffrey Archer

    I arrived that evening nearly thirty minutes early. I remember taking a seat in a large impersonal lounge just off the main hall and ordering coffee.
    "Will anyone be joining you, sir?" the waiter asked.
    "I can't be sure," I told him. No one did join me, but I still hung around until seven forty.
    By Thursday the waiter had stopped asking if anyone would be joining me as I sat alone and allowed yet another cup of coffer to grow cold. Every few minutes I checked my watch. Each time a woman with blonde hair entered the lounge my heart leaped but it was never the woman I hoped for.
    It was just before seven on Friday that I finally saw Christina standing in the doorway. She wore a smart blue suit buttoned up almost to the neck and a while blouse that made her look as if she were on her way to a business conference. Her long fair hair was pulled back behind her ears to give an impression of severity, but however hard she tried she could not be other than beautiful. I stood and raised my arm. She walked quickly over and took the seat beside me. We didn't kiss or shake hands and for some time didn't even speak.
    "Thank you for coming," I said.
    "I shouldn't have, it was foolish. "
    Some time passed before either of us spoke again.
    "Can I pour you a coffee?" l asked.
    "Yes, thank you."
    "Black?"
    "Yes."
    "You haven't changed."
    How banal it all would have sounded to anyone eavesdropping. She sipped her coffee.
    I should have taken her in my arms right then but I had no way of knowing that that was what she wanted. For several minutes we talked of inconsequential matters, always avoiding each other's eyes, until I suddenly said, "Do you realise that I still love you?"
    Tears filled her eyes as she replied, "Of course l do. And l still feel the same about you now as I did the day we parted. And don't forget I have to see you every day, through Nicholas."
    She leaned forward and spoke almost in a whisper. She told me about the meeting with her parents that had taken place more than five years before as if we had not been parted in between. Her father had shown no anger when he learned she was pregnant but the family still left for Vancouver the following morning. There they had stayed with the Willings, a family also from Munich, who were old friends of the von Braumers. Their son, Klaus, had always been besotted with Christina and didn't care about her being pregnant, or even the fact she felt nothing for him. He was confident that, given time, it would all work out for the best.

    It didn't, because it couldn't. Christina had always known it would never work, however hard Claus tried. They even left Montreal in an attempt to make a go of it. Klaus bought her the shop in Toronto and every luxury that money could afford, but it made no difference. Their marriage was an obvious sham. Yet they could not bring themselves to distress their families further with a divorce so they had led separate lives from the beginning.
    As soon as Christina finished her story I touched her cheek and she took my hand and kissed it. From that moment on we saw each other every spare moment that could be stolen, day or night. It was the happiest year of my life, and I was unable to hide from anyone how I felt.
    Our affair - for that's how the gossips were describing it - inevitably became public. However discreet we tried to be, Toronto, I quickly discovered, is a very small place, full of people who took pleasure in informing those whom we also loved that we had been seen together regularly, even leaving my home in the early hours.
    Then quite suddenly we were left with no choice in the matter: Christina told me she was pregnant again. Only this time it held no fears for either of us.
    Once she had told Klaus the settlement went through as quickly as the best divorce lawyer at Graham Douglas & Wilkins could negotiate. We were married only a few days after the final papers were signed. We both regretted that Christina's parents felt unable to attend the wedding but I couldn't understand why you didn't come.
    The rabbi still could not believe his own intolerance and short-sightedness. The demands on an Orthodox Jew should be waived if it meant losing one's only child. He had searched the Talmud in vain for any passage that would allow him to break his lifelong vows. In vain.
    The only sad part of the divorce settlement was that Klaus was given custody of our child. He also demanded, in exchange for a quick divorce, that I not be allowed to see Nicholas before his twenty-first birthday, and that he should not be told that I was his real father. At the time it seemed a hard price to pay, even for such happiness. We both knew that we had been left with no choice but to accept his terms.
    I used to wonder how each day could be so much better than the last. If I was apart from Christina for more than a few hours I always missed her. If the firm sent me out of town on business for a night I would phone her two, three, perhaps four times, and if it was for more than a night then she came with me. I remember you once describing your love for my mother and wondering at the time if I could ever hope to achieve such happiness.
    We began to make plans for the birth of our child William, if it was a boy - her choice; Deborah, if it was a girl - mine. I painted the spare room pink, assuming I had already won.
    Christina had to stop me buying too many baby clothes, but I warned her that it didn't matter as we were going to have a dozen more children. Jews, I reminded her, believed in dynasties.
    She attended her exercise classes regularly, dieted carefully, rested sensibly. I told her she was doing far more than was required of a mother, even of my daughter. I asked if I could be present when our child was born and her gynaecologist seemed reluctant at first, but then agreed. By the time the ninth month came the hospital must have thought from the amount of fuss I was making they were preparing for the birth of a royal prince.


    I drove Christina into Women’s College Hospital on the way to work last Tuesday. Although I went on to the office I found it impossible to concentrate. The hospital rang in the afternoon to say they thought the child would be born early that evening: obviously Deborah did not wish to disrupt the working hours of Graham Douglas & Wilkins. However, I still arrived at the hospital far too early. I sat on the end of Christina's bed until her contractions started coming every minute and then to my surprise they asked me to leave. They needed to rupture her membranes, a nurse explained. I asked her to remind the midwife that I wanted to be present to witness the birth.
    I went out into the corridor and began pacing up and down, the way expectant fathers do in B-movies. Christina's gynaecologist arrived about half an hour later and gave me a huge smile. I noticed a cigar in his top pocket, obviously reserved for expectant fathers.
    "It's about to happen," was all he said.
    A second doctor whom I had never seen before arrived a few minutes later and went quickly into her room. He only gave me a nod. I felt like a man in the dock waiting to hear the jury's verdict.
    It must have been at least another fifteen minutes before I saw the unit being rushed down the corridor by a team of three young interns. They didn't even give me so much as a second glance as they disappeared into Christina's room.
    I heard the screams that suddenly gave way to the plaintive cry of a new-born child. I thanked my God and hers. When the doctor came out of her room I remember noticing that the cigar had disappeared.
    "It's a girl," he said quietly. I was overjoyed.
    "No need to repaint the bedroom immediately," flashed through my mind.
    "Can I see Christina now?" I asked.
    He took me by the arm and led me across the corridor and into his office. "Would you like to sit down?" he asked. "I'm afraid I have some sad news."
    "Is she all right?"
    "I am sorry, so very sorry, to tell you that your wife is dead."
    At first I didn't believe him, I refused to believe him. Why? Why? I wanted to scream. "We did warn her," he added.
    "Warn her? Warn her of what?"
    "That her blood pressure might not stand up to it a second time."
    Christina had never told me what the doctor went on to explain - that the birth of our first child had been complicated, and that the doctors had advised her against becoming pregnant again.
    "Why hadn't she told me?" l demanded.
    Then I realized why. She had risked everything for me - foolish, selfish, thoughtless me - and l had ended up killing the one person I loved.


    They allowed me to hold Deborah in my arms for just a moment before they put her into an incubator and told me it would be another twenty-four hours before she came off the danger list.
    You will never know how much it meant to me, Father, that you came to the hospital so quickly. Christina’s parents arrived later that morning. They were magnificent. He begged for my forgiveness - begged for my forgiveness. It could never have happened, he kept repeating, if he hadn't been so stupid and prejudiced.
    His wife took my hand and asked if she might be allowed to see Deborah from time to time. Of course I agreed. They left just before midnight. I sat, walked, slept in that corridor for the next twenty-four hours until they told me that my daughter was off the danger list. She would have to remain in the hospital for a few more days, they explained, but she was now managing to suck milk from a bottle.
    Christina's father kindly took over the funeral arrangements.
    You must have wondered why I didn't appear and I owe you an explanation. I thought I would just drop into the hospital on my way to the funeral so that I could spend a few moments with Deborah. I had already transferred my love.
    The doctor couldn’t get the words out. It took a brave man to tell me that her heart had stopped beating a few minutes before my arrival. Even the senior surgeon was in tears. When I left the hospital the corridors were empty.

    I want you to know, Father, that I love you with all my heart, but I have no desire to spend the rest of my life without Christina or Deborah.
    I only ask to be buried beside my wife and daughter and to be remembered as their husband and father. That way unthinking people might learn from our love. And when you finish this letter, remember only that I had such total happiness when I was with her that death holds no fears for me.

    Your son, Benjamin.


    The old rabbi placed the letter down on the table in front of him. He had read it every day for the last ten years.
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter

    نسافرُ حتى نبتعدَ عن المكانِ الذي أنجبَنا ونرى الجهةَ الأخرى من الشروق. نسافرُ بحثاً عن طفولاتنا، عن ولاداتٍ لم تحدُث. نسافر لتكتملَ الأبجديّاتُ الناقصة. ليكونَ الوداع مليئاً بالوعود. لنبتعدَ كالشفَق يرافقُنا ويودِّعُنا. نمزّقُ المصائرَ ونُبَعثِرُ صفحاتِها في الريح قبلَ أن نجدَ – أو لا نجد – سيرتَنا في كتبٍ أخرى.

    نسافر نحوَ المصائر غير المكتوبة. نسافر لنقولَ للّذينَ التقيناهم إننا سنعودُ فنلتقي بهم. نسافر لنتعلّمَ لغةَ الأشجار التي لا تسافر. لنُلَمِّعَ رنينَ الأجراس في الأودية المقدّسة. لنبحثَ عن آلهة أكثرَ رحمة. لننزعَ عن وجوهِ الغُرَباء أقنعةَ الغُربة. لنُسِرّ للعابرين بأننا مثلهم عابرون وبأنّ إقامتَنا مُوَقّتة في الذاكرة والنسيان. بعيداً عن الأُمّهاتِ اللواتي يُشعِلْنَ شمعةَ الغياب، ويُرَقِّقْنَ قِشرَةَ الوقت كلما ارتفعت أيديهنّ إلى السماء.

    نسافر حتى لا نرى أهلَنا يَشيخون، ولا نقرأ أيّامهم على وجوههم. نسافر في غَفْلة من الأعمار المُبَدّدة سلفاً. نسافرُ لنبلّغَ الذينَ نحبُّهم أننا لا نزالُ نُحِبّ، وأنّ البُعدَ لا يقوى على دهشتنا، وأنّ المَنافيَ لذيذة وطازجة كالأوطان. نسافر حتى إذا ما عُدْنا إلى أوطاننا أحسسنا أننا مهاجرون في كلّ مكان. هكذا بَغْتَةً، ننفضُ عن أجنحتنا الشرُفاتِ المُشَرَّعة على الشمسِ والبحر. نسافر حتى لا يعودَ ثمّةَ فرقٌ بينَ هواء وهواء، بينَ ماء وماء، بينَ سماء وجحيم. نهزأُ من الوقت. نجلسُ وننظرُ إلى المدى. نرى الأمواجَ تتقافزُ كالأطفال. يَمضي البحرُ أمامَنا بين سفينتَين، واحدة ترحل، وأخرى من ورق في يد طفل.

    نسافر كما ينتقلُ المهرّجُ من قرية إلى قرية، ومعه حيواناته تلقّنُ الأطفالَ أمثولتَهم الأولى في السأم. نسافر لنخدعَ الموت، فنتركه يتعقّبُنا من مكانٍ إلى آخر. ونظلّ نسافرُ إلى أن لا نجدَ أنفسَنا في الأمكنة التي نسافرُ إليها. لنضيعَ فلا يعثرُ علينا أحد.

    عيسى مخلوف
    عين السراب
    دار النهار

     
    Pinturicchio

    Pinturicchio

    Active Member
    This is the last part of il Canto quinto (5ème chant) of the Inferno (Inferno of course is the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy).

    Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende
    prese costui de la bella persona
    che mi fu tolta; e ’l modo ancor m’offende.

    Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
    mi prese del costui piacer sى forte,
    che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.

    Amor condusse noi ad una morte:
    Caina attende chi a vita ci spense».
    Queste parole da lor ci fuor porte.

    Quand’io intesi quell’anime offense,
    china’ il viso e tanto il tenni basso,
    fin che ’l poeta mi disse: «Che pense?».

    Quando rispuosi, cominciai: «Oh lasso,
    quanti dolci pensier, quanto disio
    menٍ costoro al doloroso passo!».

    Poi mi rivolsi a loro e parla’ io,
    e cominciai: «Francesca, i tuoi martىri
    a lagrimar mi fanno tristo e pio.

    Ma dimmi: al tempo d’i dolci sospiri,
    a che e come concedette Amore
    che conosceste i dubbiosi disiri?».

    E quella a me: «Nessun maggior dolore
    che ricordarsi del tempo felice
    ne la miseria; e ciٍ sa ’l tuo dottore.

    Ma s’a conoscer la prima radice
    del nostro amor tu hai cotanto affetto,
    dirٍ come colui che piange e dice.

    Noi leggiavamo un giorno per diletto
    di Lancialotto come amor lo strinse;
    soli eravamo e sanza alcun sospetto.

    Per più fiate li occhi ci sospinse
    quella lettura, e scolorocci il viso;
    ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse.

    Quando leggemmo il disiato riso
    esser basciato da cotanto amante,
    questi, che mai da me non fia diviso,

    la bocca mi basciٍ tutto tremante.
    Galeotto fu ’l libro e chi lo scrisse:
    quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante».

    Mentre che l’uno spirto questo disse,
    l’altro piangea; sى che di pietade
    io venni men cosى com’io morisse.

    E caddi come corpo morto cade



    Probably the best thing I ever got to read.
     
    Pinturicchio

    Pinturicchio

    Active Member
    This is from Gibran's "الأجنحة المتكسرة" or "The broken wings". I love this novel. A must read.


    كنت في بيروت في ربيع تلك السنة المملوءة بالغرائب وكان نيسان قد أنبت الأزهار والأعشاب فظهرت في بساتين المدينة كأنها أسرار تعلنها الأرض للسماء. وكانت أشجار اللوز والتفاح قد اكتست بحلل بيضاء معطرة فبانت بين المنازل كأنها حوريات بملابس ناصعة قد بعثت بهن الطبيعة عرائس وزوجات لأبناء الشعر والخيال.

    الربيع جميل في كل مكان ولكنه أكثر من جميل في سوريا. الربيع روح إله غير معروف تتطوف في الأرض مسرعة. وعندما تبلغ سوريا تسير ببطء متلفتة إلى الوراء مستأنسة بأرواح الملوك والأنبياء الحائمة في الفضاء. مترنمة مع جداول اليهودية بأناشيد سليمان الخالدة. مرددة مع أرز لبنان تذكارات المجد القديم.

    وبيروت في الربيع أجمل منها في ما بقي من الفصول. لأنها تخلو فيه من أحوال الشتاء وغبار الصيف وتصبح بين أمطار الأول وحرارة الثاني كصبية حسناء قد اغتسلت بمياه الغدير ثم جلست على ضفته تجفف جسدها بأشعة الشمس.




    Same book.. this is from another chapter.

    خرجنا إلى الحديقة وسرنا بين الأشجار شاعرين بأصابع النسيم الخفية تلامس وجهينا وقامات الأزهار والأعشاب اللدنة تتمايل بين أقدامنا، حتى إذا ما بلغنا شجرة الياسمين جلسنا صامتين على ذلك المقعد الخشبي نسمع تنفس الطبيعة النائمة ونكشف بحلاوة التنهد خفايا صدرينا أمام عيون السماء الناظرة إلينا من وراء زرقة السماء.

    وطلع القمر إذا ذاك من وراء صنين وغمر بنوره تلك الروابي والشواطئ فظهرت القرى على أكتاف الأودية كأنها قد انبثقت من اللاشيء. وبات لبنان جميعه من تحت تلك الأشعة الفضية كأنه فتى متكئ على ساعده تحت نقاب لطيف يخفي أعضاءه ولا يخفيها.

    لبنان عند شعراء الغرب مكان خيالي، قد اضمحلت حقيقته بذهاب داود وسليمان والأنبياء مثلما انحجبت جنة عدن بسقوط آدم وحواء. هو لفظة شعرية لا اسم لجبل ــ لفظة ترمز عن عاطفة في النفس وتستحضر إلى الفكر رسوم غابات من الأرز يفوح منها العطر والبخور، وأبراج النحاس والرخام تتعالى بالمجد والعظمة، وأسراب من الغزلان تتهادى بين الطلول والأودية، وأنا قد رأيت لبنان في تلك الليلة مثل فكر شعري خيالي منتصب كالحلم بين اليقظة واليقظة.

    كذا تتغير الأشياء أمام أعيننا بتغيير عواطفنا، وهكذا نتوهم الأشياء متشحة بالسحر والجمال عندما لا يكون السحر والجمال إلا في نفوسنا.

    والتفتت إليّ سلمى وقد غمر نور القمر وجهها وعنقها ومعصميها فبانت كتمثال من العاج نحتته أصابع متعبد لعشتروت ربة الحسن والمحبة "لماذا لا تتكلم ــ لماذا لا تحدثني عن ماضي حياتك؟".

    فنظرت إلى عينيها المنيرتين ومثل أخرس فاجأ النطق شفتيه أجبتها قائلاً "ألم تسمعي متكلماً مذ جئت إلى هذا المكان ــ أو لم تسمعي كل ما قلته مذ خرجنا إلى الحديقة؟ إن نفسك التي تسمع همس الأزهار وأغاني السكينة تستطيع أن تسمع صراخ روحي وضجيج قبلي".

    فحجبت وجهها بيديها ثم قالت بصوت متقطع "قد سمعتك. نعم سمعتك.. سمعت صوتاً صارخاً خارجاً من أحشاء الليل وضجة هائلة منبثقة من قلب النهار".

    فقلت بسرعة وقد نسيت ماضي حياتي ونسيت كياني ونسيت كل شيء ولم أعرف سوى سلمى ولا أشعر بغير وجودها "وأنا قد سمعتك يا سلمى ــ سمعت نغمة عظيمة محيية جارحة تتموج لها دقائق الفضاء وتهتز بارتعاشها أسس الأرض".

    فأغمضت سلمى أجفانها وظهر على شفتيها القرمزيتين خيال ابتسامة محزنة ثم همست قائلة "قد عرفت الآن بأنه يوجد شيء أعلى من السماء، وأعمق من البحر، وأقوى من الحياة والموت والزمن. قد عرفت الآن ما لم أكن أعرفه بالأمس ولا أحلم به".

    منذ تلك الدقيقة صارت سلمى كرامة أعز من صديق وأقرب من الأخت وأحب من الحبيبة. صارت فكراً سامياً يتبع عاقلتي وعاطفة رقيقة تكتنف قلبي وحلماً جميلاً يجاور نفسي.

    ما أجهل الناس الذين يتوهمون أن المحبة تتولد بالمعاشرة الطويلة والمرافقة المستمرة. إن المحبة الحقيقية هي ابنة التفاهم الروحي وإن لم يتم هذا التفاهم بلحظة واحدة لا يتم بعام ولا بجيل كامل.

    ورفعت سلمى رأسها ونظرت نحو الأفق البعيد حيث تلتقي خطوط صنين بأذيال الفضاء ثم قالت "لقد كنت لي بالأمس مثل أخ اقترب منه مطمئنة وأجلس بجانبه في ظلال والدي. أما الآن فقد شعرت بوجود أقوى وأعذب من العلاقة الأخوية. قد شعرت بعاطفة غريبة مجردة من كل علاقة. عاطفة قوية عميقة مخيفة لذيذة تملأ قلبي حزناً وفرحاً".

     
    B

    BOILER

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Also from Broken wings(You wonder what to pick from it, cause you can't get enough from the first word till the last one):

    Then she said, “ I want you to love me as a poet loves his sorrowful thoughts. I want you to remember me as a traveller remembers a calm pool in which his image was reflected as he drank its water. I want you to remember me as a mother remember her child that died before it saw the light, and I want you to remember me as a merciful king remembers a prisoner who died before his pardon reached him. I want you to be my companion, and I want you to visit my father and console him in his solitude because I shall be leaving him soon and shall be a stranger to him.

    I answered her, saying, “ I will do all you have said and will make my soul an envelope for your soul, and my heart a residence for your beauty and my breast a grave for your sorrows. I shall love you , Selma, as the prairies love the spring, and I shall live in you in the life of a flower under the sun’s rays. I shall sing your name as the valley sings the echo of the bells of the village churches; I shall listen to the language of your soul as the shore listens to the story of the waves. I shall remember you as a stranger remembers his beloved country, and as a hungry man remembers a banquet, and as a dethroned king remembers the days of his glory, and as a prisoner remembers the hours of ease and freedom. I shall remember you as a sower remembers the bundles of wheat on his threshing flour, and as a shepherd remembers the green prairies the sweet brooks.”

    Selma listened to my words with palpitating heart, and said “Tomorrow the truth will become ghostly and the awakening will be like a dream. Will a lover be satisfied embracing a ghost, or will a thirsty man quench his thirst from the spring or a dream?”

    I answered her, “Tomorrow, destiny will put you in the midst of a peaceful family, but it will send me into the world of struggle and warfare. You will be in the home of a person whom chance has made most fortunate through your beauty and virtue, while I shall be living a life of suffering and fear. You will enter the gate of life, while I shall enter the gate of death. You will be received hospitably, while I shall exist in solitude, but I shall erect a statue of love and worship it in the valley of death. Love will be my sole comforter, and I shall drink love like wine and wear it like garment. At dawn, Love will wake me from slumber and take me to the distant field, and at noon will lead me to the shadows of trees, where I will find shelter with the birds from the heat of the sun. In the evening, it will cause me to pause before sunset to hear nature’s farewell song to the light of day and will show me ghostly clouds sailing in the sky. At night, Love will embrace me, and I shall sleep, dreaming of the heavenly world where the spirits of lovers and poets abide. In the Spring I shall walk side by side with love among violets and jasmines and drink the remaining drops of winter in the lily cups. In Summer we shall make the bundles of hay our pillows and the grass our bed, and the blue sky will cover us as we gaze at the stars and the moon.

    In Autumn, Love and I will go to the vineyard and sit by the wine press and watch the grapevines being denuded of their golden ornaments, and the migrating flocks of birds will wing over us. In Winter, we shall sit by the fireside reciting stories of long ago and chronicles of far countries. During my youth, Love will be my teacher; in middle age, my help; and in old age, my delight. Love, my beloved Selma, will stay with me to the end of my life, and after death the hand of God will unite us again.”

    All these words came from the depths of my heart like flames of fire which leap raging from the hearth and then disappear in the ashes. Selma was weeping as if her eyes were lips answering me with tears.

    Those whom love has not given wings cannot fly the cloud of appearances to see the magic world in which Selma’s spirit and mine existed together in that sorrowfully happy hour. Those whom Love has not chosen as followers do not hear when Love calls. This story is not for them. Even if they should comprehend these pages, they would not be able to grasp the shadowy meanings which are not clothed in words and do not reside on paper, but what human being is he who has never sipped the wine from the cup of love, and what spirit is it that has never stood reverently before that lighted altar in the temple whose pavement is the hearts of men and women and whose ceiling is the secret canopy of dreams? What flower is that on whose leaves the dawn has never poured a drop of dew; what streamlet is that which lost its course without going to the sea?

    Selma raised her face toward the sky and gazed at the heavenly stars which studded the firmament. She stretched out her hands; her eyes widened, and her lips trembled. On her pale face, I could see the signs of sorrow, oppression, hopelessness, and pain. Then she cried, “ Oh, Lord, what has a woman done that hath offended Thee? What sin has she committed to deserve such a punishment? For what crime has she been awarded everlasting castigation? Oh, Lord, Thou art strong, and I am weak. Why hast Thou made me suffer pain? Thou art great and almighty, while I am nothing but a tiny creature crawling before Thy throne. Why hast Thou crushed me with Thy foot? Thou art a raging tempest, and I am like dust; why, my Lord, hast Thou flung me upon the cold earth? Thou art powerful, and I am helpless; why art Thou fighting me? Thou art considerate, and I am prudent; why art Thou destroying me? Thou hast created woman with love, and why, with love, dost Thou ruin her? With Thy right hand dost Thou lift her, and with Thy left hand dost Thou strike her into the abyss, and she knows not why. In her mouth Thou blowest the breath of Life, and in her heart Thou sowest the seeds of death. Thou dost show her the path of happiness, but Thou leadest her in the road of misery; in her mouth Thou dost place a song of happiness, but then Thou dost close her lips with sorrow and dost fetter her tongue with agony. With Thy mysterious fingers dost Thou dress her wounds, and with Thine hands Thou drawest the dread of pain round her pleasures. In her bed Thou hidest pleasure and peace, but beside it Thou dost erect obstacles and fear. Thou dost excite her affection through Thy will, and from her affection does shame emanate. By Thy will Thou showest her the beauty of creation, but her love for beauty becomes a terrible famine. Thou dost make her drink life in the cup of death, and death in the cup of life. Thou purifiest her with tears, and in tears her life streams away. Oh, Lord, Thou hast opened my eyes with love, and with love Thou hast blinded me. Thou hast kissed me with Thy lips and struck me with Thy strong hand. Thou has planted in my heart a white rose, but around the rose a barrier of thorns. Thou hast tied my present with the spirit of a young man whom I love, but my life with the body of an unknown man. So help me, my Lord, to be strong in this deadly struggle and assist me to be truthful and virtuous until death. Thy will be done. Oh , Lord God.”

    Silence continued. Selma looked down, pale and frail; her arms dropped, and her head bowed and it seemed to me as if a tempest had broken a branch from a tree and cast it down to dry and perish.

     
    Judy Abbott

    Judy Abbott

    Active Member
    From the Secret things of God by Dr. Henry Cloud

    Paragraph title: you attract to yourself relationships that fit you


    Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.
    —Proverbs 13:21 NLT


    “I don’t understand it. I can be in a coliseum of fifty thousand people, and I am going to somehow fall in love with the only alcoholic in the crowd. It is uncanny. I just draw them in like moths to a light.”

    “If there is a control freak in the entire state, I will find him and think I can’t live without him.”

    “I keep going to work for jerks. It seems that if I get offered a job by a jerk, I automatically think it is the best company in the world . . . until I have been there for six months.”

    “I keep finding losers. What is it about me that attracts these guys?”

    “Why do all of the women I am attracted to turn out to be so needy?”

    “I keep finding myself in the same relationship over and over; the only thing that changes is the names.”

    You know what I love about these statements? Whenever I hear them, whether it is about dating, friendship, business, or choosing a community, I know the people who make them are on the road to finding better relationships. Why? Because they are finally noticing that the people they are finding are not the problem after all. Instead, they are seeing that they are the problem, or at least a big part of it: They are realizing that the real problem is that their own “people picker” is broken.

    They keep choosing the ones who are either going to hurt them or let them down or not be good for them in some way. And they are beginning to realize that it is no accident that these people show up in their lives: they themselves have something to do with finding—and attracting—them. When I hear that insight, I know it’s only a matter of time until the pattern ends. Once they notice it, they can get to the reasons for it and change them. And you can too.

    Like Attracts Like

    But it is so, so hard to get people to realize that they have a part in attracting these people into their lives, and for being attracted to them too. They often do not see that what is so attractive to them about the person in the beginning has something to do with their own dysfunction and that they deny obvious warning signs. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “I saw little signs that, looking back, I ignored. I guess I just wanted it to be right so much that I ignored some things that really were red flags.” They did not listen to “that little voice inside.”

    There is a law of attraction in this area of life for sure. Dysfunctional people attract dysfunctional people, and healthy people attract healthy people. It’s uncanny how consistent it is. There is just no such thing, for example, as someone who is in a long-term relationship with an addict who is not in some way codependent. Those two are always able to find each other. The question is, why?

    The Secret would say that it is the law of attraction working in the sphere of energy. The energies of each person literally draw them to each other. I have no scientific way of knowing whether or not that is true. But we certainly see the reality of the attraction itself. I do believe that we have energy fields that are part of our character, and there probably is something to that. For example, you can just feel it when someone is full of love and also when someone has a “dark” energy to them as well. Some people can just walk into a room and either light it up or turn out the lights. You can feel the whole mood change. Maybe someday there will be a meter to measure people’s energy or light and dark levels.

    But I can explain it in more natural ways than energy alone. There are character dynamics that explain attraction and how we are drawn to certain kinds of people and not to others. Let’s take codependents, for example. It is part of their makeup to need someone to fix, to repair, to make better. They are rescuers. Now think about this. What do rescuers need?

    Exactly. A person to rescue. And what kind of people needs rescuing? Responsible people? No. Responsible people take care of themselves. The kind who need rescuing are those who are not taking responsibility and ownership of their own lives and are a mess. So codependent people will always have irresponsible people or addicts in their lives until they realize that their codependency is what makes those relationships exist and necessitates their having problem people in their lives.

    Likewise, on the other side of the equation, if people are not taking responsibility for themselves, what kind of people do they need? Rescuers. Someone to take care of them. Voilà! There’s your match. They find each other. In some sort of unconscious way, they have the ability to sense each other, and the match is made, even across a crowded room. They hear fireworks when they meet. They just like each other. It feels right or familiar. They have no idea what is driving that attraction, but they just know that it feels good in the beginning. It’s after the dynamics begin to kick in that it all unfolds.

    Let’s take another example. If someone is really controlling and does not respect another person’s boundaries, what kind of person is he or she going to be looking for? What kind of person “fits” with a controller? Answer: Someone who will allow that behavior. It’s a perfect match. It all feels so natural. So they are drawn to each other like magnets:

    the selfish one and the selfless one
    the perfectionist and the guilty people-pleaser
    the detached one and the one who is afraid of real intimacy
    the emotionally unavailable person and the one who has
    been abandoned all her life
    the one with the negative self-image and the critical one
    the self-centered one and the giver
    the narcissistic one and the flatterer
    the overly “good girl” and the “bad boy”
    I heard someone say once that you are attracted to people at your same level of sickness or health. That is definitely not true. I have seen pretty healthy people with a few issues pair up with really sick—and even evil—people. They were not “equally” messed up. But here is what was true: their issues were compatible in a sick sort of way. An abuser is often sicker than the passive person he abuses. You can see how their dynamics fit well together, nevertheless. They may not be equal, but they are compatible. It works, if you will.

    It’s about You

    So here is the way to unlock this secret: take responsibility for the fact that if you are drawn to dysfunctional people in friendship, romance, business, or spiritual community . . . there is a reason.

    It is about you, not them. Find out why you are attracted to them. Here is an example: I have a friend who is single and for a couple of years has been griping to me about the guys she dates. She whines and complains about how noncommittal they are and how they don’t follow through or take initiative in the relationship. She always feels they don’t plan or do normal responsible things required in a relationship. Finally, I was tired of the same story and her saying, “What is it with guys nowadays? There are no good ones.” So I told her what I thought.

    “I think that you are getting what you are attracted to, which is little boys,” I said.

    “What are you talking about?” she said.

    “Just that. I think that all these guys are little boys. Everyone of them is in his late twenties or early thirties and somehow still tied in to ‘Daddy.’ One of them worked for his dad, not able to make it on his own. Another lived at home with his father. Another worked in the same company as his father, where his father got him the job; and another one had financial ties. All of them, still not on their own, and they dated like it. They just wanted someone else to please them and didn’t want to do anything that smacked of an adult relationship.”

    I explained this over and over, but she would not agree. To her, it was all about there being no good ones “out there.” Then it happened.

    “Oh my,” she said. “I had a moment of enlightenment.”

    “What happened? One of your little boys get a job?” I asked.

    “No. I had a date with what I think you would call a ‘man.’ He is a portfolio manager, put himself through law school, and takes lots of classes on leadership, personal growth, and all that stuff. It was so different,” she said.

    “That’s awesome,” I said. “So, what happened?”

    “I was sitting there listening to him at dinner and just finding out about his life when I found myself wanting to leave and end the date. So I tuned in to what was going on with me and realized . . . I felt about one inch tall around him. Being around a real adult, I realized, threatened me. I need to be in control, and with this guy, I felt really out of control—even though he was exactly the kind of guy I have been griping that the others were not! I am totally afraid of what I say I want. I can see what you are talking about. I choose little boys so I won’t be threatened,” she said, amazed and convicted. Caught.

    At last I felt hope for her.

    Play Your Own Game

    I once told a woman who asked, “How do you deal with critical people?” to just be honest with them. “If you will, you will never hear from them again.” The tip is this: stop playing their game. Stop playing the game that works with their dysfunction, and you will stop attracting them. And the people who are already playing the “unhealthy” game with you will get the picture and begin to play your game—the healthy one. Honesty, responsibility, love, faithfulness, commitment. Let that be your game, and the only kind of people who will come knocking will be people of like character. The others want no part of it.
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    [FIELDSET="A Community of the Spirit ~ Rumi"]



    There is a community of the spirit.
    Join in, and feel the delight
    of walking in the noisy street,
    and being the noise.

    Drink all your passion,
    and be a disgrace.

    Close both eyes
    to see with the other eye.

    Open your hands,
    if you want to be held.

    Sit down in this circle.

    Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
    the shepherd's love filling you.

    At night, your beloved wanders,
    Don't accept consolations.

    Close your mouth against food.
    Taste the lover's mouth in yours.

    You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
    Twenty more will come.

    Be empty of worrying.
    Think of who created thought!

    Why do you stay in prison
    when the door is so wide open?

    Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
    Live in silence.

    Flow down and down in always
    widening ring of being.

    There's a strange frenzy in my head,
    of birds flying,
    each particle circulating on its own.
    Is the one I love everywhere?

    ~~~

    Drunks fear the police,
    but the police are drunk too.

    People in this town love them both
    like different chess pieces.

    [/FIELDSET]
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    [fieldset="غونتر غراس ~ الطبل الصفيح"]

    كان هناك طبّال صفيح اسمه أوسكار، بعدما انتُزعَ منه بائع لعب الأطفال وخُرّب محل بائع لعب الأطفال أدرك بأنّ أزماناً عصيبة ستمرّ بطبّالي الصفيح الأقزام من أمثاله. فانتقى من وسط الأنقاض، وهو يوشك على مغادرة المحل، طبلاً سليماً واثنين آخرين متضررين قليلاً، ثم خلّف رواق تسويغهاوس وراء ظهره، معلّقاً الطبول في رقبته، ليفتّش في كولنماركت عن أبيه الذي ربما كان يفتّش عنه. في الخارج كان الوقتُ وقتَ ضُحى نوفمبريّ متأخر. وإلى جانب المسرح البلدي، بالقرب من محطة الترام وقفت نساء متديّنات وفتيات قبيحات كنّ يرتجفْنَ من البرد ويوزّعْنَ كتيّبات عن التقوى ويجمعْنَ النقود في عُلَب من صفيح وحملْنَ لافتة ثُبّتت في عمودَيْن خشبيّيْن اقتبست نصّاً من رسالة بولص الأولى إلى أهالي كورنثوس ورد في الإصحاح الثالث عشر. استطاع أوسكار أن يقرأ: "الإيمان، الرجاء، المحبة"، فتعامل أوسكار مع تلك المفردات الثلاث كما يتعامل البهلوان مع الزجاجات: سريع الإيمان، مِعصَرة عرق الرجاء، دُرَر الغرام، كوخ الرجاء الصالح، خمرة النساء المحبوبة، اجتماع الدائنين. هل تؤمن بأنها ستمطرُ غداً؟ شعب ساذج الإيمان تماماً يؤمن ببابا نويل، بَيْدَ أنّ بابا نويل كان في الواقع بابا الغاز. أعتقد أنّ هناك رائحةَ الجوز واللوز، بيد أنها كانت رائحةَ غاز. والآن فسيحلّ عما قريب، حسبما أعتقد، أول عيد بشارة قبل عيد الميلاد كما قيل. وفعلاً فُتحت مفاتيح الغاز على آخرها في عيد البشارة الأول والثاني حتى الرابع، مثلما يفتح المرء حنفيّات الغاز، لكي تبدوَ رائحةُ الجوز واللوز جديرة بالتصديق، ولكي يستطيع كاسرو الجوز الإيمان بكل ارتياح:

    بأنه سيأتي، سيأتي. لكن مَن ذا الذي أتى؟ أهو الطفل يسوع، المخلّص؟ أم جاء رجل الغاز وساعة القياس تحت إبطه تَتكّ بلا انقطاع؟ جاء ليقول: أنا مُنقِذُ هذا العالم، فبدوني لا يمكنكم أن تطهوا الطعام. كانَ ليّنَ الطبع، أتاح للآخرين فرصة التحدث معه، فعرض عليهم تعريفة مناسبة، وفتح صنبور الغاز المنظّف حديثاً، فأطلق الروح المقدسة، ليتسنّى لهم سَلق اليمام، ثم وزّع جوزاً ولوزاً جاهزاً للكسر، فكُسر الجوز واللوز على الفور فتضوّع منها كذلك: الروح والغاز، لدرجة أصبح معها سهلاً على أولئك السهلي التصديق بأنهم نظروا وسط الهواء الأزرق الكثيف إلى جميع رجال الغاز الواقفين أمام المحلات التجارية باعتبارهم مُوزّعي هدايا عيد الميلاد، ونظروا إلى يسوع معروضاً في جميع الأحجام والأسعار. فآمنوا هكذا بمؤسسة الغاز باعتبارها المُنقذ الوحيد الذي يرمز إلى القدَر عبر منظّم نسب الغاز المتصاعدة والمنخفضة، وينظّم احتفالات الزمن السابق لعيد الميلاد بأسعار معقولة؛ زمن البشارة، ذاك الذي آمن كثيرون بعيد الميلاد الذي سيتمخّض عنه كما كان مقدّراً، والذي لم يستطع تجاوز أيامه الاحتفالية العصيبة، إلا أولئك الذين نفد مخزونهم من الجوز واللوز – مع أنهم كانوا كلهم على اعتقاد بأنّ لديهم منه ما يكفي.

    بعدما اتضح أنّ الإيمان ببابا نويل، موزّع هدايا الميلاد، كان يعني الإيمان برجل الغاز، لجأ المرء، دون أن يضع سياق رسالة بولص إلى أهالي كورنثوس بنظر الاعتبار، إلى المحبّة: أحبّك، هكذا قيل، أوه، إنني أحبّك. فهل تحبّني أنت؟ هل تحبني؛ قل، هل تحبني حقاً؟ إنني أحبك أيضاً. ومن فرط الحب فقد سمّى أحدهما الآخر فجلاً، فأحبّا الفجل، ثم قضمَ أحدهما الآخر، فجلٌ قضمَ فجلاً آخر من شدّة الحبّ. فصارا يقصّانِ على بعضهما أمثولةً من الحبّ السماويّ المدهش والأرضيّ أيضاً بين الفجل، ويهمسانِ قبل القضم بانتعاش وجوع وحِدّة: قل لي يا فجل هل تحبني؟ إذ إنني أحب نفسي أيضاً.

    حينما قضموا الفجل من فرط الحب، مُعلنين الإيمان برجل الغاز ديناً للدولة، لم يبقَ بعد الإيمان والمحبة المكتسبة سلفاً سوى البضاعة الثالثة الكاسدة التي وردت في رسالة بولص إلى أهالي كورنثوس: الرجاء. فبينما كانوا يقضمون الفجل والجوز واللوز تمنَّوا أن يُحسمَ الأمرُ قريباً، لكي يواصلوا القضم أو يبدأوا من جديد، متمنّين أثناء موسيقى الختام أو بعدها أن يُحسمَ أمرُ الحسم قريباً. فكانوا لا يعلمون ما الذي يجب أن يُحسَم، بل تمنّوا أن يُحسمَ الأمرُ عاجلاً، أن يُحسَمَ غداً، متأمّلين أن لا يكون الحسم اليوم؛ إذ ما الذي يمكن أن يفعلوه بالحسم المفاجئ. وعندما حُسمَ الأمر، خلقوا منه سريعاً بداية جديدة حافلة بالأمل؛ إذ أنّ الحسم هنا، في بلادنا هذه، يعني دائماً بداية وأملاً لكل حسم بما فيه الحسم النهائي. فقد ورد أيضاً: طالما بقيَ الإنسانُ يأمُل؛ فإنه سيبدأ من جديد بالحسم الزاخر بالأمل​
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    Picasso

    Picasso

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    [FIELDSET=Harvard Business Review. Communicating Effectively]

    Girls tend to play with a single best friend or in small groups, and they spend a lot of time talking. They use language to negotiate how close they are; for example, the girl you tell your secrets to becomes your best friend. Girls learn to downplay ways in which one is better than the others and to emphasize ways in which they are all the same. From childhood, most girls learn that sounding too sure of themselves will make them unpopular with their peers – although nobody really takes such modesty literally. A group of girls will ostracize a girl who calls attention to her own superiority and criticize her by saying, “She thinks she’s something”; and a girl who tells others what to do is called “bossy.” Thus girls learn to talk in ways that balance their own needs with those of others – to save face for one another in the broadest sense of the term.

    Boys tend to play very differently. They usually play in larger groups in which more boys can be included, but not everyone is treated as an equal. Boys with high status in their group are expected to emphasize rather than downplay their status, and usually one or several boys will be seen as the leader or leaders. Boys generally don’t accuse one another of being bossy, because the leader is expected to tell lower-status boys what to do. Boys learn to use language to negotiate their status in the group by displaying their abilities and knowledge, and by challenging others and resisting challenges. Giving orders is one way of getting and keeping the high-status role. Another is taking center stage by telling stories or jokes.

    This is not to say that all boys and girls grow up this way or feel comfortable in these groups or are equally successful at negotiating within these norms. But, for the most part, these childhood play groups as where boys and girls learn their conversational styles. In this sense, they grow up in different worlds. The result is that women and men tend to have different habitual ways of saying what they mean, and conversations between them can be like cross-cultural communication: You can’t assume that the other person means what you would mean if you said the same thing in the same way.

    My research in companies across the United States shows that the lessons learned in childhood carry over into the workplace. Consider the following example: A focus group was organized at a major multinational company to evaluate a recently implemented flextime policy. The participants sat in a circle and discussed the new system. The group concluded that it was excellent, but they also agreed on ways to improve it. The meeting went well and was deemed a success by all, according to my own observations and everyone’s comments to me. But the next day, I was in for a surprise.
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    Picasso

    Picasso

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    [FIELDSET=Thinking Fast and Slow ~ Daniel Kahneman]
    The great comedian Danny Kaye had a line that has stayed with me since my adolescence. Speaking of a woman he dislikes, he says, “Her favorite position is beside herself, and her favorite sport is jumping to conclusions.” The line came up, I remember, in the initial conversation with Amos Tversky about the rationality of statistical intuitions, and now I believe it offers an apt description of how System 1 functions. Jumping to conclusions is efficient if the conclusions are likely to be correct and the costs of an occasional mistake acceptable, and if the jump saves much time and effort. Jumping to conclusions is risky when the situation is unfamiliar, the stakes are high, and there is no time to collect information. These are the circumstances in which intuitive errors are probable, which may be prevented by a deliberate intervention of System 2.

    NEGLECT OF AMNIGUITY AND SUPPRESSION OF DOUBT

    ABC/ ANN APPROACHED THE BANK/ 121314
    Figure 6

    What do the three exhibits in figure 6 have in common? The answer is that all are ambiguous. You almost certainly read the display on the left as A B C and the one on the right as 12 13 14, but the middle items in both displays are identical. You could just as well have read them as A 13 C or 12 B 14, but you did not. Why not? The same shape is read as a letter in a context of letters and as a number in a context of numbers. The entire context helps determine the interpretation of each element. The shape is ambiguous, but you jump to a conclusion about its identity and do not become aware of the ambiguity that was resolved.

    As for Ann, you probably imagined a woman with money on her mind, walking toward a building with tellers and secure vaults. But this plausible interpretation is not the only possible one; the sentence is ambiguous. If an earlier sentence had been “They were floating gently down the river,” you would have imagined an altogether different scene. When you have just been thinking of a river, the word bank is not associated with money. In the absence of an explicit context, System 1 generated a likely context on its own. We know that it is System 1 because you were not aware of the choice or of the possibility of another interpretation. Unless you have been canoeing recently, you probably spend more time going to banks than floating on rivers, and you resolved the ambiguity accordingly. When uncertain, System 1 bets on an answer, and the bets are guided by experience. The rules of the betting are intelligent: recent events and the current context have the most weight in determining an interpretation. When no recent event comes to mind, more distant memories govern. Among your earliest and most memorable experiences was singing your ABCs; you did not sing your A13Cs.

    The most important aspect of both examples is that a definite choice was made, but you did not know it. Only one interpretation came to mind, and you were never aware of the ambiguity. System 1 does not keep track of alternatives that it rejects, or even of the fact that there were alternatives. Conscious doubt is not the repertoire of System 1; it requires maintaining incompatible interpretations in mind at the same time, which demands mental effort. Uncertainty and doubt are the domain of System 2.
    [/FIELDSET]
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

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    [FIELDSET=John Gray ~ Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus]

    When a woman is stressed she instinctively feels a need to talk about her feelings and all the possible problems that are associated with her feelings. When she begins talking she does not prioritize the significance of any problem. If she is upset, then she is upset about it all, big and small. She is not immediately concerned with finding solutions to her problems but rather seeks relief by expressing herself and being understood. By randomly talking about her problems, she becomes less upset.

    As a man under stress tends to focus on one problem and forget others, a woman under stress tends to expand and become overwhelmed by all problems. By talking about all possible problems without focusing on problem solving she feels better. Through exploring her feelings in this process she gains a greater awareness of what is really bothering her, and then suddenly she is no longer so overwhelmed.

    To feel better, women talk about past problems, future problems, potential problems, even problems that have no solutions. The more talk and exploration, the better they feel. This is the way women operate. To expect otherwise is to deny a woman her sense of self.

    When a woman is overwhelmed she finds relief through talking in great detail about her various problems. Gradually, if she feels she is being heard, her stress disappears. After talking about one topic she will pause and then move on to the next. In this way she continues to expand talking about problems, worries, disappointments, and frustrations. These topics need not be in any order and tend to be logically unrelated. If she feels she is not being understood, her awareness may expand even further, and she may become upset about more problems.

    Just as a man who is stuck in the cave needs little problems to distract him, a woman who doesn’t feel heard will need to talk about other problems that are less immediate to feel relief. To forget her own painful feelings she may become emotionally involved in the problems of others. In addition she may find relief through discussing the problems of her friends, relatives, and associates. Whether she is talking about her problems or others’ problems, talking is a natural and healthy Venusian reaction to stress.
    [/FIELDSET]
     
    Picasso

    Picasso

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    [FIELDSET=Cain ~ Jose Saramago]

    Keep still, or I‘ll be the one who does the killing, untie that boy at once, then kneel down and beg his forgiveness, Who are you, My name is cain, I‘m the angel who saved isaac‘s life. This isn‘t true, cain is no angel, that title belongs to the being who has just landed with a great flapping of wings and who is now declaiming like an actor who has finally heard his cue, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, nor do anything to him, for now I know that thou fearest the lord, being prepared, for love of him, to sacrifice even your only son, You‘re late, said cain, the only reason isaac isn‘t dead is because I stepped in to prevent it. The angel looked suitably contrite, I‘m terribly sorry to be late, but it really wasn‘t my fault, I was on my way here when I developed a mechanical problem in my right wing, it was out of synch with the left one, and the result was that I got completely turned around, in fact I wasn‘t even sure I would get here, and given that no one had told me which of these mountains had been chosen as the place of sacrifice, it‘s a miracle I arrived at all, You‘re late, said cain again, Better late than never, replied the angel smugly, as if he had uttered a great truth, That‘s where you‘re wrong, never is not the opposite of late, the opposite of late is too late, retorted cain. The angel muttered, Oh, no, a rationalist, and since he had not yet completed the mission with which he had been charged, he rattled off the rest of his message, This is what the lord commanded me to say: since you were capable of doing this and did not withhold your own son, I swear by my good name that I will bless you and multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand upon the seashore and they will possess the gates of his enemies, and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed my voice, the word of the lord, That, for those, who don‘t know it or pretend to ignore it, is the lord‘s double accounting system, said cain, whereby one man can win and the other not lose, apart from that, I don‘t see why all the people of the earth will be blessed just because abraham obeyed a stupid order, That is what we in heaven call due obedience, said the angel. Dragging his right wing, and with a bad taste in his mouth after the failure of his mission, the celestial creature departed, and abraham and his son are walking back to where their servants are waiting for them, and now, while cain is once again loading the saddle-bags on to his donkey, let us imagine a dialogue between the would-be executioner and his victim saved at the last moment. Isaac asked, Father, whatever did I do to you that would make you want to kill me, your only son, You did nothing wrong, isaac, So why did you want to cut my throat as if I were a lamb, asked the boy, if that man, may the lord‘s blessings be upon him, hadn‘t come and grabbed your arm, you would now be carrying home a corpse, It was the lord‘s idea, he, meant it as a test, A test of what, Of my faith and my obedience, What kind of lord would order a father to kill his own son, He‘s the only lord we have, the lord of our ancestors, the lord who was here when we were born, And if that lord had a son, would he order him to be killed as well, asked isaac, Time will tell...
    [/FIELDSET]
     
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