Sunday, August 23, 2009

The World Wants To Tell Me Something

While thinking that lately so many coincidental things have happened, that so many shimmering details are coming together to form a larger, clearer picture, I came across a book by Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler. It was wedged in an odd place, half-hidden, waiting. I had bought this book years back, holding off reading it until I would have the necessary quiet, focus and time to savor its strangeness. (I have yet to let myself fall into its mystery. When the time is right, I will.) I opened the book (as with Hesse's Steppenwolf in the previous post) to see what message the pages might contain. I found these words quivering under my fingertips:

Leaning from the steep slope (the chapter title)

I am becoming convinced that the world wants to tell me something, send me messages, signals, warnings.…

*

There are days when everything I see seems to me charged with meaning: messages it would be difficult for me to communicate to others, define, translate into words, but which for this very reason appear to me decisive. They are announcements or presages that concern me and the world at once: for my part, not only the external event of my existence but also what happens inside, in the depths of me; and for the world not some particular event but the general way of being of all things. You will understand therefore my difficulty in speaking about it, except by allusion.

-- Italo Calvino, translated from the Italian by William Weaver

The quote was taken from pages 52-53 of If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino, original copyright 1979, included in Everyman's Library in 1993. The photo was taken on 8/17/09, slightly uphill from my house. The tree is a black cherry, identified by the ever-helpful Michael Gambino, curator of Trailside Nature Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY. Click on image to enlarge.

7 comments:

ann said...

Beautiful! Perfect for this Sunday morning.

Christine said...

Thank you, Ann. In the following paragraph, he goes on to say: "Today I saw a hand thrust out of a window of the prison, toward the sea. I was walking on the seawall of the port, as is my habit, until I was just below the old fortress ...." That evolves in an intriguing and mysterious way, too. I'm looking forward to a total, sequential read of the book!

Annie said...

Love the sense that the messages you have seen already are like parts of a mosaic or a jigsaw not able to be made sense of yet.

Christine said...

The pieces will shift into place, in their own time. Thanks for visiting!

Deborah Batterman said...

Yet another wonderful reminder that there are greater forces out there and we take our messages as they come. The photo brought a very big smile to my face.

Deborah Batterman said...

Yet another wonderful reminder that there are greater forces out there and we take our messages as they come. The photo brought a very big smile to my face.

Christine said...

True. Thanks, Deborah. (It looks like your invisible twin left the same comment.) And I'm glad the photo made you smile!