Dolce far niente, Henry Longfellow, Joseph Boyden, John Kea

Dolce far niente – Bij Halloween

 

 
The Haunted House door John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1874

 

Haunted Houses

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

 


Henry Longfellow (27 februari 1807 – 24 maart 1882)
West End Halloween Parade in Portland, Maine. Lomfellow werd geboren in Portland.

Continue reading “Dolce far niente, Henry Longfellow, Joseph Boyden, John Kea”

Don Winslow

De Amerikaanse schrijver Don Winslow werd geboren in New York op 31 oktober 1953. Hij groeide op in Perryville, een kustdorpje in South Kingstown, Washington County (Rhode Island)). Zijn moeder was een bibliothecaris en zijn vader was een onderofficier van de United States Navy. Winslow studeerde af in Afrikaanse Geschiedenis aan de Universiteit van Nebraska. Voordat hij schrijver werd had hij verschillende baantjes. Eind jaren 1970 verhuisde hij terug naar New York, waar hij werkzaam was als de manager van een bioscoopketen en als privédetective. Nadien ging hij terug naar school en behaalde hij een Masterdiploma in de richting Militaire Geschiedenis. Hij leidde ook safari’s in Kenia en ondernam grote wandeltochten in de Chinese provincie Sichuan. In 1991 werd zijn debuutroman “A Cool Breeze on the Underground” uitgebracht. Het was tevens zijn eerste boek over het hoofdpersonage Neal Carey, een jonge, New Yorkse boekenwurm en privédetective. Midden jaren 1990 verhuisde Winslow met zijn gezin naar Californië. In 1997 bracht hij de roman”The Death and Life of Bobby Z” uit. Het boek werd een groot succes, hetgeen hem toeliet om voltijds schrijver te worden. Tien jaar later werd het boek verfilmd door regisseur John Herzfeld. In 2010 schreef Winslow de misdaadroman “Savages”. Het boek, over twee Amerikaanse drugsdealers die ruzie krijgen met een Mexicaans drugskartel, werd twee jaar later verfilmd door Oliver Stone. Winslow zelf schreef het scenario voor de verfilming.

Uit:The Cartel

„The bell rings an hour before dawn.
The beekeeper, released from a nightmare, gets up.
His small cell has a bed, a chair, and a desk. A single small window in the thick adobe wall looks out onto the gravel path, silver in the moonlight, which leads up toward the chapel.
The desert morning is cold. The beekeeper pulls on a brown woolen shirt, khaki trousers, wool socks, and work shoes. Walking down the hall to the communal bathroom, he brushes his teeth, shaves with cold water, and then falls in with the line of monks walking to the chapel.
No one speaks.
Except for chanting, prayers, meetings, and necessary conversation at work, silence is the norm at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.
They live by Psalm 46:10—­“Be still and know that I am God.”
The beekeeper likes it that way. He’s heard enough words.
Most of them were lies.
Everyone in his former world, himself included, lied as a matter of course. If nothing else, you had to lie to yourself just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You lied to other people to survive.
Now he seeks truth in silence.
He seeks God in the same, although he has come to believe that truth and God are the same.
Truth, stillness, and God.
When he first arrived, the monks didn’t ask him who he was or where he came from. They saw a man with saddened eyes, his hair still black but streaked with silver, his boxer’s shoulders a little stooped but still strong. He said that he was looking for quiet, and Brother Gregory, the abbot, responded that quietude was the one thing they had in abundance.
The man paid for his small room in cash, and at first spent his days wandering the desert grounds, through the ocotillo and the sage, walking down to the Chama River or up onto the mountain slope.
Eventually he found his way into the chapel and knelt in the back as the monks chanted their prayers.“

 
Don Winslow (New York, 31 oktober 1953)