A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Present Joy

I'll close A Year Of Grace after taking one more quotation from it. It's only a short one. It comes from Goethe's flawed, magnificent, practically unstageable, poetic and dramatic masterpiece Faust. I love Faust and I love Goethe. At one time in my life I had to read almost everything Goethe ever wrote - and I did not regret it. Goethe towers over German Literature as Tolstoy does over Russian Literature and Shakespeare does over ours. This is from Faust Part II, Act III - the scene where Faust meets Helen of Troy:

FAUST. The Spirit looks not forward, not behind,
Here in the Present -

HELEN. Here our joy we find.

So A Year Of Grace has led us from the blessings of the Beatitudes to a willing and joyful endurance of all aspects of life (for the good of "the peace and tranquillity of our soul"); from the perception of beauty and the praising (the witnessing and the celebrating) of it (and praise not only of obvious beauty but also of "those dark, deadly, devastating" and "wildest and mildest of ways"), finally to the positive recognition of the present moment.
Grace indeed.


Val said...

One of my favorites:
"I am so happy, dear friend, so absorbed in this feeling of peaceful existence...when vapors rise about me in this lovely valley, and the sun shines on the surface of the impenetrable darkness of my forest, and I...feel the presence of the Almighty."

from The Sorrows of Young Werther (but I'm guessing you knew that already)
; )

P.S. I'm curious if you read Goethe in German or English.

Mister Roy said...

Thank you for all of these and for giving us a 3-day week of Grace

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I read German - my degree was in German. It's always best to read Goethe and Rilke in the original language - of course - but sometimes I'm too lazy - and a bit out of practice now.

The Solitary Walker said...

Blessings to you, Mister Roy!

If you don't behave yourself I'll give you a 5-day lecture next time ;-)

Bella said...

I love Faust and Goethe, although English versions only unfortunately.



am said...

Wonderful series of posts, solitary walker.

Have you read the I Ching in German?

The Solitary Walker said...

Haven't read the I Ching in German, am.