Wednesday 20 February 2008

Da y Two

More about that tomorrow - optimism.

Have moved along smartly on other projects, must not leave this behind.

Etty Hillesum: a Jewish mystic, upsetting to read. People in Westerbork, which was the Dutch transit camp, where she volunteered to go. Every week a train left for the East. She wrote about what she saw. A young woman, twenty-seven, wiser than her years.

"... the faces of that squad of armed, green uniformed guard - my God, those faces! I looked at each in turn from behind the safety of a window and I have never been so frightened of anything in my life. I sank to my knees withe words that preside of human life: And God made man after His likeness.
That passage spent a difficult morning with me."

That last sentence may have been improved in translation, it is more natural in Dutch than in English, I think. As it is, it carries a punch.

Before going to sleep am reading Natalie Goldberg as much of her as I can lay my hands on, a good companion. Returned Living Colour and Wild Mind to the library, finished Writing the Bones and now am busy with Thunder and Lightening. None of her poetry or her novels are available from the library, shall see if I can get hold of something 2nd hand via the Web.

These books cover the same material over and over, from slightly different angles and I rejoice. Maybe something will stick.

I'll see if I can find something by that Polish poet who won the Nobel.

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