procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the wolf

again exploring the relative beauty, or ugliness we find, this passage from Hermann Hesse's the wolf stood out.

we come to a point in this short story, set in a harsh winter, with very little left for the wolves to eat - they have resorted to attacking sheep, and after an intense hunt this wolf has just been spotted and shot.
Trembling, the wounded wolf climbed through the woods in the half-light, while slowly the brown blood trickled down his flank.
The cold had let up. The sky in the west was hazy, giving promise of snow.
At last the exhausted beast reached the top. He was at the edge of a large, slightly inclined snowfield not far from Mont Crosin, high above the village from which he had escaped. He felt no hunger, but a dull persistent pain from his wound. A low sick bark came from his drooping jaws, his heart beat heavily and painfully; the hand of death weighed on it like a heavy load. A lone fir tree with spreading branches lured him; there he sat down and stared forlornly into the snow-gray night. Half an hour passed. Then a red, strangely muted light fell on the snow. With a groan the wolf stood up and turned his beautiful head toward the light. It was the moon, which, gigantic and blood-red, had risen in the southeast and was slowly climbing higher in the misty sky. For many weeks it had not been so big and red. Sadly, the dying wolf's eyes clung to the hazy disk, and again a faint howl rattled painfully through the night.

[...](the men catch him, kill him; they laugh, boast, sing and curse)
None of them saw the beauty of the snow-covered forest, or the radiance of the high plateau, or the red moon which hovereed over the Chasseral, and whose faint light shimmered on their rifle barrels, on the crystalline snow, and on the blurred eyes of the dead wolf.

even this wolf, so close to death, is the only one truly able to appreciate his surrounds. the desolation, the oppressiveness, and even his looming demise, fade away when he is no longer focussed on his own survival, but gives himself over to his fate - in that stillness he can find solitude and find beauty.

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Blogger Georgina said...

Wow. Beautiful and sad writing. Thanks for sharing it.

5:09 pm  
Blogger samgirl said...

mmm... i read it! - SAD :(

10:50 pm  

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