We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes…
~ Madeleine L’Engle
The Nickert is a small gray person that lives in the water and has a great desire for human children. If they have not yet been baptized, he will steal them, leaving his own children in their place. They are very small, but have large, broad heads.
Once a woman on a journey gave birth to a child at Scharfenbrück. As soon as she had recovered and was crossing the Ruthe Bridge on her way home, the Nickert came upon her without being seen and stole her newborn child, leaving in its place his malformed brat with its thick head. It lived for eight years, and then died. If the woman had not crossed over running water with her newborn, the Nickert would not have been able to do anything to her.
Once in Zühlichendorf there was a large Nickert child that was completely wild. He dirtied himself, and was almost like an animal. One day a worker came home with a heavily loaded wagon full of grain and ran into the gatepost so hard that he could not get loose. The Nickert child, who was sitting inside next to the window, saw what had happened and asked, “Should I help you?”
The bad-tempered worker replied, “You stupid quack, it’s too heavy for you!” Then the Nickert child came outside and with one powerful shove pushed the wagon free. Three days later the Nickert child disappeared.
Thanks to cabinetdesdrruthven
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.
~ Anais Nin
When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’
It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?” —Sandi Toksvig lists ten unsung heroines, from the inventor of the cotton gin to a queen who led her troops into battle wearing an iron leg - the world’s first known use of a prosthesis. (via bingoparaphernalia) (via gauntlet) (via robot-heart) (via theantidote)
“Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for plannning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future—you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.”
John Green (Paper Towns)
Eternity, that old Egyptian cat,
Is coiling in the corner for the moment,
Serene and calm, apparently off guard.
But in a whim, all might forever change,
A magic lamp of Chinese porcelain
Gets broken and the little spot of light
Is yielded to the memory, until
It also fades and darkness fills its place.
A swarm of dreams, a meshwork of suggestions
Is suddenly eternally promoted
To wishful thinking. Wait… what is “eternal”?
A handful dozen years, and then one day
They’ll find your breathless - shall we call it “body”?.. -
Whatever you have left as parting gift
For others, who, with grief or with relief,
Will take the care of putting it away,
For all eternity.
And what of you?
What of that point, from which you could behold
The skies, and plants, and planets, and the people?..
The orphan web of messages in words
And dreams, reflecting light which is no more,
Is no good answer. Where could have you gone?
Eternally unknown. As they say,
When Universe gets tired of work and play,
We’ll see each other at the other side
Of starry sky.
It’s not to verify
For all eternity.
But hope remains.
Зима, Москва, ГЗ за кованой оградой, трамвай сквозь полумрак плывёт по снегопаду, сияющее прошлое, мерцают во мгле слова, - а бабочка на подошве, наверно, ещё жива.