Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I went up my mountain in a fog, and then got above the mist; going higher and higher, I would look down upon a sea of whiteness, through which would be thrust innumerable mountain-tops that looked like islands. I am there now, as I write, I fancy that I can see the downs, the huts, the plain and the river-bed - that torrent pathway of desolation, with its distant roar of water, oh wonderful! Wonderful! So lonely, and so solemn, with the sad grey clouds above and no sounds save a lost lamb bleating upon the mountain-side, as though its little heart were breaking.

Erewhon, Samuel Butler

Post script: This excerpt was first read to me by my mother, who holds a talent few who I have met can claim to share. From her mouth this is not an excerpt, not a reading, not simply words on a page - but an experience. When she comes to the end she pauses and tries not to cry as she feels every ounce of lonelines that Samuel Butler is trying to convey. I know that she would do anything to take the imaginary lamb to her own breast and love it as her own. When Mother reads it, it makes me cry. When I read it, it is not Butler's voice nor my own I hear, but Mother's, and the lonliness, beauty and homesickness rises up and is so powerful, that I cry again.


simon said...


( I have experienced this too...for real, also in our Snowy mountains, what he writes about)

But the way mothers can recite...and how we perceive it.... it is "connection" The Earl King.. a schubert song and poem is one such exmaple for me...

thanks ju's..

kiwi mother said...

Now it is my turn to feel humble. Dearest Daughter, you make my heart burst xx