Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cranes at Dawn (M. Privshin)



At the pre-dawn hour, the scraps of dream spread out foggily; and then all rearranges itself into the world and from there back into itself, and it is clear by the sensation of shivering that the dawn will gradually appear, just as my body, my whole body, is like the house of the rising sun.

Everyone thinks that the sun rises with white light in the East, but this is not so: the white light appears later than the East begins to distinguish itself from the rest of the sky. It begins to blush a little, just as it happens upon the road on a dark night, when you notice a pinkish color, and ask if it is on that side or the other that a city with electricity is located. It is more vivid than the electric heaven, which always hangs over the city, due to the weakness of artificial light, because in the East during the pre-dawn hour the sky, lit up with the furthest rays of the sun, turns pink first of all. But in the forest no note is made of this change; there, everything until morning is counted as the deepest midnight. It was very amusing to me to think that I had caught the dawn earlier than all of the birds and beasts.

I put my palms to my ears, just as hunters do, when listening for the far-off beginning of the song of the grouse, and distinguished a trembling in the leaves. But everywhere there was silence. Following my example, Vyun also lifted his hands.

--Do you hear? he asked.

--I hear, I said quietly -- somewhere an aspen is trembling.

Suddenly the same bird peeped, by which in spring the hunters know the nearing of the hour of the grouse: in the spring she actually sings, but now she merely peeped. The trembling of the aspens was audible without the straining of the ears, and the pink area in the East began to quickly turn white. The stars went dark. The night undressed. The outlines of our aspen became clear. The night threw off all of its clothes, and then began to shiver; laying dew upon the world. Then the morning took it upon itself to dress us all in blue and red. The first crane on the first nest cried out, and the second answering him, then the third. I counted, as long as my hearing could distinguish them, the nests of all of the cranes in their homeland along the Dubna, and when the sun appeared, they all cried out at once together.

(An excerpt translated from Mikhail Privshin's Homeland of the Crane (Журавлиная родина.)


Cranes by Anton Lomaev




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Noor/Noir/Hidden LIght

"From the beginning, this divine light was hidden and concealed..." --the Zohar




"...my aim is to give a voice to the silent people, to show the hidden lights behind the curtain of the great game..."

--Monika Bulaj



___


If you can make it to the end of the above video without tears, you are a braver little toaster than I.

For those who become irritated by too much talk about light: their instincts may be correct. According to NASA, "normal" matter (that is not "dark", or otherwise acting rather mysteriously--68% dark energy, ~27% dark matter) makes up less than five percent of the universe.

Cameras with lenses and computer processors which can detect substances other than optical light, have begun to "illuminate" some of the hidden universe.

An x-ray photograph of a massive black hole at the center of our galaxy taken by NASA's x-ray observatory, Chandra.

But what if there were another sort of lens in our eyes, through which the hidden lights of Earth were able to be translated into the visible spectrum?

I speculate on the pulsing nebulae we might possibly espy in the shadows of those who might otherwise seem unremarkable:

  • a checker at the grocery store who knew the Kalevala (how I miss him though I only met him once!);
  • a teacher who has been grinning and bearing it with 30 pupils for six hours;
  • a maiden aunt who signs the 40th post card to young relatives during her vacation;
  • the White Birch Council of all of the widows and bearers of the world's pain;
  • and you, dear blog reader, who sit and muse in silence.


"The parable of His Light is a niche wherein is a lamp—
the lamp is in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star—
lit from a blessed olive tree,
neither eastern nor western,
whose oil almost lights up,
though fire should not touch it.
Light upon light."

--Qur'an, Sura an-Nur




A painting by Daria Petrilli


"In this way, through an uncompromising, absolute, and pure detachment from yourself and from all things, transcending all things and released from all, you will be led upwards toward that radiance of the divine darkness that is beyond all being. Entering the darkness that surpasses understanding, we shall find ourselves brought, not just to brevity of speech, but to perfect silence and unknowing."

--
Pseudo-Dionysius


taken after dark - the orange glow is the clouds reflecting the snow



Come forward to childhood and do not despise it because it is little and small. 
And do not bring back some greatnesses in parts from smallnesses, 
for the smallnesses are known from the greatnesses. 

--Thunder, the Perfect Mind

when trees as gilded as bees

Above the 61st parallel, the colors of Autumn mark our parting with the bees, and the last days of real warmth. I had begun to transl...

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