Sunday, October 22, 2006
"Be quiet, still, and solitary."
In the comment section of the last post, Laini asked a question about the origins of the name of my blog, and led me to a wonderful artist's site. The Kafka quote, which uses the words simply wait was only one of the marvels I found there. Though I hadn't read it before, I love the quote so much that if my blog didn't already refer to it, I would have to rename it in Kafka's honor.
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Interestingly enough, it was another German writer who first haunted me with the words simply wait. I have written about Goethe's "The Second Poem the Night-Walker Wrote" here before. It is a poem that confronts us rather starkly with the silence that will claim us all--and "soon". But it doesn't seem at all morbid to me. Instead, I read it as a reminder to sing now while we have a voice, to sing with gratitude and joy, to sing until the trees chant in response to the power of our voices.
Over the hilltops,
Among all the treetops
You feel hardly
A breath moving.
The birds fall silent in the woods.
Simply wait! Soon
you too will be silent.