Wednesday, December 21, 2016

On Cat Feet Silence Comes...

Max Picard

"Sometimes there is a seat by the side of the road, with a cat resting on it. And beyond the cobblestone street there is nothing but a meadow from which a steep slope falls to the valley. The seat, the cat, the street, the meadow seemed to hover between the sky above and the earth at the bottom of the slope. And here, here in these few things rests silence itself. It is as if the silence had gone out of the rest of the world and taken these few things with it here to take its rest in them. The cat is as motionless as if it had previously been one of those stone animals that rest eternally on Cathedral walls: the animal of Silence, able to watch over silence itself.

"These few things – the animal, the seat in the sun, the cobbled street, the field – are all lifted out of the routine of the world by silence. Animal, seat, and earth have returned to the beginning where only silence was, before the creation of language. In the beginning they were as they are now, and thus they shall be brought to the end of the world.

"The man looking at them would like to add his own silence to these things of Silence, so that it might travel with them again from the beginning of the world until their end. But then he expresses what he sees before him in the word, and in the word he sees the silence even more clearly than with his eye."

The World of Silence, page 133

(And sometimes it is a favorite book sent by a friend, read again in the silent warmth of slanting sun on a late winter afternoon...)

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