It’s not easy, as some people seem to think. You work hard writing plays, and nobody puts them on. So you just spend your days doing the errands of your trade. That I’m a private investigator, a detective I always enjoy finding out about people. Even if they’re in absolute agony, I always find it very… interesting.
THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
Night, sleep, death and the stars.
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done
walt witman leads us away from all things in the world including the world.
He himself states that I am the child of soul and nature
This poem stole all the breath in my lungs and gave me dreams to breathe instead
A cloudless sky after the sun has set, as the hands of the clock bring one day to an end and another into being, such a sky leads away infinitely. Or comes to us from eternity. Walt, your words waltz through time
This is clearly a later poem by Whitman, when he has raised his gaze to the sky, the night sky, and contemplates the stars. It is preparatory to death, our human mortality in general and his own encounter in particular. His advice to his loyal readers: You have followed me on my journeys through the world, observing people at work, at play, in groups or alone, pursuing happiness and profit and life, Now come with me into the realm of silence, vastness, a new existence after the crossing the greatest of all threshold. I’ll go first. I’ll wait for you and take your hand if you’re scared. The fear won’t last long, I promise, but the wonder will be endless.
i am not sure what Walt means in this beautifully crafted poem.The only thing i can imagine is that there will be a time once in your life where you have to stop all the thing you are doin and drown into the place where you throw away your books, passion, art whatever you are because the day is done and lessons you have learned from your life is done.
you are coming back now but uou are silent, gazing and thikin over the things you love most in your life was it worth it after all there is Night wher you will sleep and one day you will die and above you there will be stars.
“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
On the beach at night, Stands a child with her father, Watching the east, the autumn sky. Up through the darkness, While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading, Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky, Amid a transparent clear band of ether yet left in the east, Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter, And nigh at hand, only a very little above, Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades. From the beach the child holding the hand of her father, Those burial clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all, Watching, silently weeps. Weep not, child, Weep not, my darling, With these kisses let me remove your tears, The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious; They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition, Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge, They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again, The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure, The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine. Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter? Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars? Somewhere there is, (With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper, I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,) Something there is more immortal even than the stars, (Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,) Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter, Longer than sun or any revolving satellite, Or the radient sisters of the Pleiades.
That feeling of being connected to everything… means to also be connected to death.
“ All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely pre-ambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasent life of it, in despite of the devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was – a woman.”
― Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
You see – You see, I’ve seen a lot of death in the last few years and there’s one thing that’s for sure about death – You do it alone, you see. That seems quite certain, you see. That I’ve seen. That the people around your bed mean nothing. Your reviews mean nothing. Whatever it is, you do it alone. And so the question is, when I get on my deathbed, what kind of a person am I gonna be?
We’re just walking around in some kind of fog. I think we’re all in a trance. We’re walking around like zombies. I don’t – I don’t think we’re even aware of ourselves or our own reaction to things.
We – We’re just going around all day, like unconscious machines… and meanwhile there’s all of this rage and worry and uneasiness… just building up and building up inside us. That’s right. It just builds up, uh… and then it just leaps out inappropriately.
“But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if
evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows
disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the
shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings.
Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because
of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You’re stupid.”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
“The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You’re asked an unexpected question, you don’t even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you away. But the truth, alas, has been disturbed by the question, and it rises up from the depths of your soul to flicker in your eyes and all is lost.”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
“Punch a man on the nose, kick an old man downstairs, shoot somebody or any old thing like that, that’s my job. But argue with women in love—no thank you!”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
“Everything passes away – suffering, pain, blood, hunger, pestilence. The sword will pass away too, but the stars will remain when the shadows of our presence and our deeds have vanished from the Earth. There is no man who does not know that. Why, then, will we not turn our eyes toward the stars? Why?”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The White Guard
“How sad, ye Gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps! You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it too when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists; its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
“The whole horror of the situation is that he now has a human heart, not a dog’s heart. And about the rottenest heart in all creation!”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, Heart of a Dog
“I’ll go to bed, forget myself in sleep.”
― Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
We’re only allowed to express our feelings, uh… weirdly and indirectly. If you express them directly, everybody goes crazy. We can’t be direct, so we end up saying the weirdest things.
Everyone is sort of floating through this, fog of symbols and unconscious feelings. No one says what they’re really thinking about.
I mean, those books are just so touching, because they show… how desperately curious we all are to know how all the others of us… are really getting on in life… even though, by performing these roles all the time… We’re just hiding the reality of ourselves from everybody else. I mean, we live in such ludicrous ignorance of each other.
We usually don’t know the things we’d like to know… even about our supposedly closest friends. Suppose you’re going through some kind of hell in your own life. Well, you would love to know if your friends have experienced similar things. But we just don’t dare to ask each other.
‘No. It would be like asking your friend to drop his role.’
That’s right. Our – Our minds are just focused on these goals and plans… which in themselves are not reality. No. Goals and plans are not – I mean, they’re – they’re fantasy. They’re part of a dream life. I mean, you know, it always just does seem so ridiculous, somehow, that everybody has to have his little – his little goal in life, that everybody has to have, his little – his little goal in life.
Right. And because people’s concentration is on their goals in their life they just live each moment by habit. Life becomes habitual and it is today.
I mean, you know, in Sanskrit, the root of the verb “to be”… is the same as “to grow” or “to make grow.”
The Scottish mathematician and scientist Robert Ogilvie Crombie (1899-1975), better known as Roc, led a life of scientific inquiry until illness forced him out of a career in academia. Roc is probably best known as one of the founders of the Findhorn Foundation, an intentional community and eco-village in northern Scotland. He was the elderly Scottish gentleman who claimed he spoke with nature spirits. As a scientist, hermetic magician, and a researcher of the psychic realms, he was in many ways a key figure in the history of esotericism (white magic) in the twentieth century. He is not as famous as his darker counterparts like Aleister Crowley because he worked in solitude and privacy. He did not write books or manuals and he did not take students or attempt to found a group or an esoteric school. Imagine a modern-day Gandalf wearing tweeds and corduroy, walking through the Scottish Highlands with his walking stick.
I think that means that instead of living under the sun… and the moon and the sky and the stars. We’re living in a fantasy world of our own making.
I mean, on the contrary, I’m looking for more comfort because, uh, the world is very abrasive. I mean, uh, I’m trying to protect myself.
Because, really, there are these abrasive beatings to be avoided everywhere you look.
But, don’t you – don’t you see that comfort can be dangerous?. I mean, you like to be comfortable and I like to be comfortable too, but comfort can lull you into a dangerous tranquillity.
See, I honestly believe that we’re all like Lady Hatfield now. We’re having a lovely, comfortable time with our electric blankets and our chicken and meanwhile we’re starving because we’re so cut off from contact with reality. That we’re not getting any real sustenance, ’cause we don’t see the world’.
We don’t see ourselves. We don’t see how our actions affect other people.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
― Martin Buber
“There are three principles in a man’s being and life: The principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don’t do what I say.”
― Martin Buber
“All actual life is encounter.”
― Martin Buber
“Every man’s foremost task is the actualization of his unique, unprecedented and never-recurring potentialities, and not the repetition of something that another, and be it even the greatest, has already achieved.”
― Martin Buber
“Mundus vult decipi: the world wants to be deceived.”
― Martin Buber, I and Thou
I just think I’m a perfectly nice guy, uh, you know, just the small circle of the people that I know as friends or the few people that we know in this little world of our little hobbies.
And I’m really quite self-satisfied. I’m just quite happy with myself. I just have no complaint about myself. I mean, you know, let’s face it.
I mean, there’s a whole enormous world out there that I just don’t ever think about.
In which you show that people are totally isolated now, and they can’t reach each other and their lives are desperate? or how does it affect them to see a play that shows that our world is full of nothing but shocking sexual events, and terror, and violence?
Does that help to wake up a sleeping audience? See, I don’t think so, ’cause I think it’s very likely’ that the picture of the world that you’re showing them in a play like that is exactly the picture of the world they have already. I mean, you know, they know their own lives and relationships are difficult and painful. And if they watch the evening news on television. Well, there what they see is a terrifying, chaotic universe. Full of rapes and murders and hands cut off by subway cars and children pushing their parents out of windows. So the play tells them that their impression of the world is correct.
And that there’s absolutely no way out. There’s nothing they can do. And they end up feeling passive and impotent.
Where’s your rose, she rush now babe, I think I’ve lost my touch Why won’t you open up your wings, The more I hope for trust This day I search upon the storm, Woah She told me all my worth is warm Woah, where I lay I’ll wait for you Woah, stuck and stray, I’ll wait for you Oh no, woah I’m blind, girl I may Love, If you hold my hand with grace I miss your golden grin, now love is lost in search for him I wish for cold these flames would smolder, peace runs awfully thin Under my skin, woah I seek to Live, woah Woah, where I lay I’ll wait for you Woah, stuck and stray, I’ll wait for you Oh no, woah I’m blind, girl I may Love, If you hold my hand with grace Love Love Love, Woah Oh, Love Love, Woah Oh, Love (Gus, we need to talk. I’m just not happy anymore. I’m sorry)
you deserve a song so long, it plays beyond the hurt beyond the tears, beyond the courtesy of elementary melodies and chord progressions much like these to love and be loved, who’d have thought it’d be so mysterious? it would be painful without bruises and subject to who chooses to pull the plug and hope that no one sinks you deserve a song so long, it plays beyond the fade beyond the place where all our memories repeat into eternity preserving them so bittersweet, for better or worse what’s the harm in a little disillusion? a little rosy hue and a drink to see it through to separate my logic from my ways and i can and i will, and i can and i will move on and you can and you will, and you can and you will move on you deserve a song so long and crafted with hands of love and capability so i’ll retire, i’ll keep it brief admiring you lovingly so long, so long, so long
I mean – I mean, is Mount Everest more real than New York? I mean, isn’t New York real?
I mean, you see, I think if you could become fully aware of what existed in the cigar store next door to this restaurant. I think it would just blow your brains out. I mean – I mean, isn’t there just as much reality to be perceived.
In a cigar store as there is on Mount Everest? I mean, what do you think? I think that not only is there nothing more real about Mount Everest. I think there’s nothing that different, in a certain way. I mean, because reality is uniform, in a way.
But the problem is that people can’t see the cigar store now. I mean, things don’t affect people the way they used to. I mean, it may very well be that 10 years from now. People will pay $10,000 in cash to be castrated just in order to be affected by something.
Well, why – why do you think that is? I mean, why is that? I mean, is it just because people are lazy today, or they’re bored? I mean, are we just like bored, spoiled children. Who’ve just been lying in the bathtub all day just playing with their plastic duck and now they’re just thinking, “Well, what can I do?”.
Okay. Yes. We’re bored. We’re all bored now.
But has it ever occurred to you, that the process, that creates this boredom, that we see in the world now. Unconscious, walking zombie, self-prepetuating goverment based on money. What else… and that all of this is much more dangerous than one thinks.
But that somebody who’s bored is asleep, because he really does feel that we’re living in some kind of Orwellian nightmare now and that everything that you hear now contributes to turning you into a robot.
He said, “I think that New York is the new model for the new concentration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates are the guards, and they have this pride in this thing they’ve built”.
“They’ve built their own prison, and so they exist in a state of schizophrenia. Where they are both guards and prisoners” and that from now on there’ll simply be all these robots walking around. Feeling nothing, thinking nothing and there’ll be nobody left almost to remind them. That there once was a species called a human being, with feelings and thoughts and that history and memory are right now being erased.
Now, of course, that there’s really almost no hope and that we’re probably going back to a very savage, lawless, terrifying period. But you know, in the Middle Ages before the arrival of scientific thinking as we know it today, well, people could believe anything.
Anything could be true the statue of the Virgin Mary could speak or bleed or whatever it was. But the wonderful thing that happened, was that then in the development of science in the Western world, certain things did come slowly to be known and understood. Obviously, all ideas in science are constantly being revised. But we do at least know that the universe has some shape and order and that, uh, you know, trees do not turn into people or goddesses and there are very good reasons why they don’t and you can’t just believe absolutely anything.
] I think, uh, it’s our nature, uh, to do things. I think we should do things. I think that, uh, purposefulness is part of our ineradicable basic human structure. And to say that we ought to be able to live without it.
is like saying that, uh, a tree ought to be able to live without branches or roots. But – But actually, without branches or roots, it wouldn’t be a tree. I mean, it would just be a log. Do you see what I’m saying?
I mean, in other words, if I’m sitting at home and I have nothing to do, well, I naturally reach for a book. I mean, what would be so great about just sitting there and, uh, doing nothing? It just seems absurd.
And if Debby is there?
Well, that’s just the same thing. I mean, is there really such a thing as, uh… Two people doing nothing but just being together or co-existing one another? is that I think it’s quite possible to do all sorts of things and at the same time be completely dead inside.
I mean, you know, when you’re young, you go out on dates all the time. You go dancing or something. You’re floating free. And then one day suddenly you find yourself in a relationship and suddenly everything freezes.
And this can be true in your work as well. And I mean, of course, if you’re really alive inside then of course there’s no problem. I mean, if you’re living with somebody in one little room and there’s a life going on between you and the person you’re living with.
Well, then a whole adventure can be going on right in that room. But there’s always the danger then I really do think you have to kind of that things can go dead become a hobo or something, you know… Kerouac and go out on the road.
But I do think that you have to constantly ask yourself the question, with total frankness : “ls your marriage still a marriage?”. I mean, it’s a very frightening thing, to have to suddenly realize.
I thought I was living my life, but in fact I haven’t been a human being. I’ve been a performer. I haven’t been living. I’ve been acting. I’ve – I’ve acted the role of the father. I’ve acted the role of the husband. I’ve acted the role of the friend. I’ve acted the role of the writer, or director, or what have you. I’ve lived in the same room with this person, but I haven’t really seen them. I haven’t really heard them. I haven’t really been with them. Yeah, I know some people are just sometimes… uh, existing just side by side. (Just playing your roles as they do and we are not knowing on what happened actually one another for real parts, mostly.
Not spending the rest of my life with you, I realized that what I wanted most in life was to always be with you.
Was how quickly people seemed to fall into enthusiasm, celebration, joy, wonder, abandon, wildness, tenderness. Could we stand to live like that?
Yeah, I think it’s that moment of contact with another person. I mean, that’s what scares us. I mean, that moment of being face to face with another person.
You wouldn’t think it would be so frightening. It’s strange that we find it so frightening, well, it isn’t that strange. I mean, first of all, there are some pretty good reasons for being frightened. I mean, you know, the human being is a complex and dangerous creature of course there’s a problem, because the closer you come, I think, to another human being the more completely mysterious and unreachable that person becomes. I mean, you know, you have to reach out, you have to go back and forth with them and you have to relate, and yet you’re relating to a ghost or something. I don’t know, because we’re ghosts. We’re phantoms. Who are we?
And that’s to face, to confront the fact that you’re completely alone and to accept that you’re alone is to accept death. You mean, because somehow when you are alone, you’re alone with death. I mean, nothing’s obstructing your view of it, or something like that.
You know, if I understood it correctly, I think, uh, Heidegger said “that, uh, if you were to experience your own being to the full. You’d be experiencing the decay of that being toward death as a part of your experience”.
Then you’ve cut off all your ties to the land, and you’re sailing into the unknown, into uncharted seas. I mean, you know, people hold on to these images of father, mother, husband, wife. Again for the same reason – cause they seem to provide some ‘firm ground’.
But there’s no wife there. What does that mean? a wife, a husband, a son. A baby holds your hands and then suddenly there’s this huge man lifting you off the ground and then he’s gone. Where’s that son?
That your child will spend his entire life gradually moving farther away from you.
At first, he and you are the same. He eats through you. He poops through you. He pokes your belly from inside of you with his feet. His heart beats inside of you.
Then he is born and ripped out of you. He cries. You cry. He is taken away to the table, few feet away. Eventually they bring him back and put him on your chest. A nurse once told me: “Mom’s arms are the best place in the world.” You both agree on that.
Hurray, it turns out you are still really close! You carry him in your arms. He eats off your boobs. He sleeps with you. He must see your face. So, you show it. As often as you can afford.
Next, he learns to walk and starts walking away from you. First, a few tiny steps. Your heart melts when you hear a pitter patter of his little feet coming back towards you. But he gradually expands his range and starts running towards cars and strangers.
Separate eating. Separate sleeping. And school is next. He is now away from you by 10–15 feet at night and 6–7 hours during the day. Eventually, he learns how to hike up the mountains. And dive into the oceans. Far, far away from you.
College is next. He moves out. To another city. Sometimes, country. He is all happy and shit. What are you going to do? Cry? You hold it together. You want him to be independent and strong. He is still yours but just temporarily away. You keep his room as is, for when he comes back.
But he doesn’t. He got a job, set up his own home. He got married and has kids. You now see him once every other week. If you are lucky to live within a driving distance. Otherwise, once every other year… No one talks about that.
P.S. Please forgive me for a depressing answer. I spent all morning crying on the fence of my son’s kindergarten since it was his first day.
I rode home through the city streets, there wasn’t a street, there wasn’t a building, that wasn’t connected to some memory in my mind. There, I was buying a suit with my father. There, I was having an ice cream soda after school.