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Duration is my redemption,
it allows me to walk and to be.
Inspired by duration,
I am also those others who stood at Griffen Lake before my time,
who will circle the Porte d’Auteuil after me,
with whom, all of them, I will have walked
to the Fontaine Sainte-Marie.
Braced by duration,
I, a fleeting being,
carry my predecessors and posterity on my shoulders,
a load that lifts.
That is why duration was called a grace,
and don’t its images and tones have
the requisite shimmer and sound? *

Warmth, clarity, purity, order, the word-for-word, the in-between spaces especially, the pauses, silence, calm. It seems to me that the book, as I understand it, is the embodiment, the human embodiment of this pole star.

Then, flinging myself upon the ground, I discovered once and for all what the spirit is…*
The previous night, I had taken in the details of the valley, but now I saw them as letters, as a series of signs, beginning with the grass-pulling horse and combining to form a coherent script. I now interpreted this land before my eyes, with the objects, whether lying, standing, or leaning, which rose up from it, this describable earth, as “the world”. And so my further progress in that predawn hour became a deciphering, a continued reading, a transcribing, a silent taking of notes. And I then distinguished two bearers of the world: on the one hand, the earth’s surface that supported the horse, the hanging gardens, and the wooden huts; and on the other hand, the decipherer, who had shouldered these things in the form of their hallmarks and signs. And I literally felt my shoulders broaden in my brother’s too-spacious coat and – because the perception and combination of signs operated as a counterweight to the burden of material things – straighten up as though my deciphering transformed the weight of the earth into a single freely flying word, consisting entirely of vowels, such a word as the Latin Eoae, translatable as “At the time of Eos”, “At dawn”, or simply, “In the morning”.

The journeys of men should lead to where they have come from.

You strike a light, and are already the noise. And you hold the light in front of you and say: It’s me, don’t be frightened. And you put it down, slowly, and there is not doubt: it is you, you are the light around the kind, familiar things that are there without any deeper meaning, good, simple, unambiguous.*
The light I see is not local; it is far, far brighter than the cloud that carries the sun. And I cannot see depth or length or breadth in it. And what I write in the vision, I see and hear, and I set down no other words than those I hear, and in an unpolished language I bring them forth, just as I hear them in the vision. For in this vision I am not taught to write as the philosophers write. And the words in this vision are not like the words that sound from the mouths of human beings, but like a vibrating flame and like a cloud moving in pure air. I can by no means make out the form of this light, just as I cannot completely gaze at the sun’s disk. In this light, however, I sometimes and not often see another light, which is called the living light, and when and in what manner I see this, I do not know how to say. And when I gaze on it, all sadness and all need are snatched away from me.*

“Don’t you want to join us?” I was recently asked by an acquaintance when he ran across me alone after midnight in a coffeehouse that was already almost deserted. “No, I don’t”, I said.*

For it is not we who know, but rather a certain state of mind in us that knows.*

Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that, even from my youth, I had accepted many false opinions for true, and that consequently everything I afterwards based on such principles was highly doubtful; and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of ridding myself, for once and for all in my life, of all the opinions I had adopted… Today, then, since I have opportunely freed my mind from all cares (and am happily disturbed by no passions), and since I am in the secure possession of leisure in a peaceable retirement, I will at length apply myself earnestly and freely to the general destruction of all my former opinions.*
There is an oblivion of all existence, a silencing of individual being, in which it seems that we have found all things. There is an oblivion of all existence, in which it seems that we have lost all things, a night of the soul in which not the faintest gleam of a star, not even the phosphorescence of rotten wood, can reach us.*
I wandered through the courtyards and galleries, on the ramparts and glacis, in the fortified and covered ways, and along the watchman’s paths. It seemed to me I was inside someone’s head. This masterly, complicated, and well-conceived construction of impregnable breastworks, bastions, salients, and redoubts appeared to me like a petrified cast of the brain, and in these halls of stone, among the iron grilles and the chevaux de frise, I stumped along on my crutches, aggressive and vicious as a crippled thought inside the mind of man, thought in its solitude, thought in its liberty. Every opening on to the outside world is an embrasure for a cannon.*