“The ice is near,
the solitude tremendous —
but how calmly all things lie in the light!
How freely one breathes!
And how much one feels
beneath oneself!” _Nietzsche
– 1 –
A very usual day,
I had spent in the gardens, meadows and fields,
amongst the streams with their colorful fishes,
and all other gentle and dainty creatures;
I had absolutely no thought that my boredom,
and my longing also,
were going to lead me to the forest;
the forbidden forest.
For it is said to be inhabited by all kinds of wild animals and creatures,
savages and vampires,
and above all stands the most fearsome:
the terrible beast,
the tales of which evoke fear in the hearts of men:
“Above all deadly evil of the forest,
beware the terrible beast,
for it has no mercy for anyone.
“And many a foolish man has became captive for life,
because he went to the forest.
“Only God knows what has become of them!”
Thus they speak of the beast,
when we sit together by the fire at night,
under the starry sky.
“And could the beast come here, to our village?”
Asks a terrified child, as he looks around in the surrounding darkness. And thus the sage comforts him:
“It is a sick and lowly creature,
lone, has it been since long living in the forest,
suffering from loneliness,
and from envy
of Human’s benevolent unity.
Companionship makes him tremble;
it dares not approach us here,
where we are true companions and kinsfolk.
It is said to scream and shiver
when it sees us together.
And because it is lowly and decadent,
devoid of every good and every compassion,
it haunts the foolish man who goes to the forest,
captures him for life,
and tortures him ever after,
that terrible beast.”
Thus speak the venerable sage and teacher, after each lesson.
Thus preaches the honorable priest in the temple, after each prayer.
Thus declare the majestic king and queen, in each holiday.
And generally, all the grownups;
thus they warn of the terrible beast,
whose encountering has become just like coming across death itself.
– 2 –
at the awakening of my soul,
and at how it sings,
with a thousand desire,
whenever I sneak to the forest!
And how I get excited,
even from fear,
of falling prey to the evils of the forest,
and especially the beastly evil.
And how I wished to see one day,
a strange creature,
or anything scary,
in the ancient, evil forest.
But non of it ever appeared to me,
and I never found anything in the forest
apart from the most beautiful,
the most acute, active, brilliant and jubilant
forms of life!
All of which have no resemblance in our village.
For animals here devour one another!
And the trees,
they are really and fantastically alive.
You can feel such things in the forest.
And the rivers and streams,
you never know what dwells and lurks beneath their running surfaces.
And once I saw a wild frog pouncing to swallow a thirsty bird.
And a crocodile
hunting the frog with incomparable skillfulness.
everything here speaks with such a tremendous feeling
Every event seems to represent the exact perfect balance of another.
Everything equal and just.
And even when the living creature ends up as food for another,
and especially when the living creature thus perishes;
for everything here submits to the same will:
the will to survive
and to preserve oneself;
the will to Power.
And there are absolutely no stains in the animal’s belief in Earth,
in its devotion to her gravity,
and to all other Earthly manifestations which reveal the possession
Thus, the animal submits to the stronger as a bowing worshiper,
and dominates the weaker as a commanding god.
But it does so honestly and earnestly,
hypocrisy or shame.
And thus it lives
it conceives no limits to its openness to life.
And I too!
Everything here seems beautifully purposeful to me.
Everything so purely and cleanly meaningful.
Everything so innocently and honestly profound.
I too feel jubilant,
cheerful and playful!
I too shall henceforth eradicate all limits,
to my openness to life.
Rejoice, O my heart!
For thus is Life!
But that which we live in the village,
it is a lie,
fraud, deceit and cunning.
foolish is he who does not come to the forest.
Who does not live,
as the forest lives.
Who does not breathe,
as the forest breathes.
From this day onward,
this very blessed forest,
shall be a home for me,
and for all those who don’t want to just live,
but to live truly,
with a genuine ego that longs to the Earth
and to be filled with the juice of Life.
Arise then, O my heart,
for you’ll ……
But wait a moment now!!
Might I have wandered too far from the village today?!
And what is it, that strange strange thing over there?
It has a human form, yet it indeed is too vast!!
Is it what I think it might be?
Is it perhaps the …
– 3 –
I saw it!
the terrible beast!
And how strange is the look of that creature:
In human form,
thin and naked,
with a thickly brown skin covered with spots of blue and green,
the way reptiles look!
Fear invaded me.
But the terrible beast was asleep;
laying comfortably on its back over an extended chain of giant rocks
by the flowing stream.
I gazed at its incomparable appearance.
My eyes caught his face,
I felt relieved and comforted!
It seems that my sweeping love for the forest,
along with the sever ecstatic blow that had just struck me,
had helped me vanquish my fear and recover my courage.
But his face,
it was different,
different from anything I had before that imagined,
although I’ve always, for some reason, envisaged him in a human form.
Yet now here his face was not merely human,
it was exceedingly beautiful,
with extremely wide eyes, although they were shut.
And through a very mild and gentle smile,
it revealed the qualities of absolute and deeply-ingrained kindness
The mild smile that shown on his face,
the relaxation and ease with which his body and limbs were extended,
made me discern that he fears not the pouncing of another creature on him.
And I realised that this was so because all other creatures
fear him just as we do.
At this moment,
when I was beholding him with my own eyes,
he appeared to be sleeping so deeply,
And although I was in the presence of the terrible beast,
I was beginning to feel safe!
All that blessed stillness that was around him,
the internal peace that shone from his visage;
surrounds me too now, all that comforting delight,
and draws me to its source as the nectar drives the bee to the flower.
At last, I dared to approach his solemn self,
I passed through the rocks as the stream flows,
and I settled beside him as the butterflies land;
slowly, quietly, and cautiously.
Then I saw his hand;
a big, vast, great hand,
with extremely extended fingers.
There was something so dexterous and exalted about the appearance of his hand.
And despite of the ugliness of his nails,
which ascertained to me that he is a carnivorous beast of prey;
a devourer of flesh,
swallower of blood;
yet I fell captive to the beauty of his extended hand,
until at last
I wanted to touch it!
I stretched my arm toward his hand,
slowly and cautiously.
All my body was sweating.
The closer the hands become
the higher my fear rose.
I was afraid he wakes up and catches my hand.
Or catches my hand then wakes up!
And which ever comes first; I was afraid of that sudden catch
that he would skillfully perform
and captures me with it for life.
Great was the danger,
its consequences, fatal.
I hesitated for a while,
and it was from my heart that I hesitated.
But to retreat;
that has become now even more harder and burdensome
than to go ahead.
For he who stands before evil,
dares not to turn his back and run away from it!
And the butterfly penetrates the light,
even though it will be burnt by the heat of the flame.
I looked to his face again and he was still sleeping,
yet I could not but think of the deadly catch,
and how this peaceful face could later turn to its opposite.
At last, I recollected my courage,
stretched my arm fully,
and begun to unfold my index finger.
my soul has become,
as the two hands were for about to meet.
– 4 –
I did it!
Very cautiously and gently,
I touched his hand.
And at once I nervously checked whether he was awakened.
But he was still sleeping,
with that marvelous smile imprinted on his face.
that which was awakened in my soul,
once my hand touched his!
For his hand was exceptionally tender and soft,
and its texture was overflowing with such profound intimacy,
the feeling of which I had never experienced before
and never thought possible.
And at once, his hand started singing to me!
With such pleasing and joyful things,
it sang and sang,
even though I understood nothing of its language!
And I fell captive to a tremendous thrill that enthralled all my being
and released tears from my eyes,
as I shut them in utter owe.
To the climax of ecstasy, my soul rose,
as though the moment of receiving the divine revelation,
and swallowing the omniscient inspiration.
I bow on the ground with my eyes shut,
worshiping his hand.
That divine, sacred hand,
that takes me with it to alter-worlds.
The highness, sublimity and elevation;
all great things for which I just sang in the forest;
here they are now:
they come for me,
visible before the eyes of my soul.
They are struggling for my sake,
struggling to reveal themselves to me,
and I no longer see,
anything but their omniscient presence.
They are inviting me
-O my heart-
in such flooding love and sweeping benevolence,
to hold them!
I stretch my being!
I cling to them.
They hold to me!
My soul rises and blends itself in eternity.
My heart strikes and palpitates.
Tears flow from my eyes.
I hug them!
They become light.
They embrace me wholly,
and we float together through the pure, sanctified air.
They take me
to where the Sun is shining.
I become now a jubilant, cheerful and playful child!
I see the forest!
This very blessed forest,
with its trees and streams and animals and birds.
But something very different is about the forest:
there are thousands of strange strange creatures,
I see them from afar,
springing from the earth to the clear blue sky.
With two great wings,
they float together in wanton merry and joy.
They fling and entwine and blend with one another.
What a cheerful scene,
and how happy are these flying creatures.
I feel peacefully blessed,
cozy and delighted, in their presence.
With a gentle and calm smile,
I too float, to approach their paradise.
I get closer and closer,
until at last, they notice my presence.
Lo at my horror!
For they suddenly freeze and stare at my eyes!
they flee away from me
as though I the incarnation of death
have come to catch them all in the net!
Every great and majestic thing that delivered me here,
The Sun sets behind the gloom.
The sky rains.
And thunder strikes.
I feel terribly bitter and lonely,
deserted and miserable.
My heart turns,
and my earthly body shivers in pain,
pulling me back to the real world.
I opened my eyes in a nervous and depressive return
to the terrifying reality in which I have put myself.
My soul jolted in a gasp of horror
when I saw that I have been clinging to the hand of the terrible beast!
His extended fingers now folded over my hand.
Fervid blood flows through his veins.
His nails extended and sharpened.
And his heart
in striking ferocity.
I looked to his face in utter fright;
he was coming back now quickly
from the world of sleep.
The muscles of his face cramped,
transforming the calm smile that shone on his face
into a stern scowling frown.
fright, terror, struggle,
prevailed over the place.
It is the moment of fleeing,
in no doubt or delay.
Few moments separate me now,
from the awakening of Death.
And I stand here in its shadow,
as the prisoner,
my destiny chained to the hand of the carnivore-executioner.
I have fallen in the deadliest of all traps,
and the cunningest of all hunters,
caught me while he is asleep!
But I am a bird that has landed over the snare with its own freewill,
I should have the chance to fly again!
The terrible beast!
He feels my presence, now.
His limbs rise.
His face moves.
His eyelids recede from their deep close.
His lips open,
His teeth and canines
of which terrifying terribleness there is no resemblance on the face of Earth,
become visible before my eyes.
My terror rises,
and I realise that
will take away my life.
I pull my hand in all my strength,
and I almost scream,
as the two hands are for about to separate.
– 5 –
He did it!
As suddenly as I expected,
more violently than I thought.
He firmly grasped my hand.
He held all my arm.
Then he nervously and energetically stood up.
And I too,
higher and higher,
I hanged down from his hand.
I screamed again and again,
he remained totally silent,
no sound comes out from him.
He did not know who I was,
or what I am.
And as I tried to look at him,
I could feel his utter surprise,
and extreme curiosity,
to discover what creature it was,
that dared to approach him.
Yet he was cool and confident;
he calmly raised me higher,
to the level of his eyes,
so as to inspect me closer,
and investigate my essence.
The event had escalated
to its climactic consummating point.
And I realised,
that that being who is now awakened,
who holds me firmly,
and the warmth of whose steady and calm breath,
I realised that he was going to turn my destiny,
into a black tragedy.
I became totally still and silent,
I surrendered completely.
My eyes blinked of exhaustion and horror,
and of deep pain,
and I was for about to lose my consciousness,
when I suddenly saw two spots of fiery flames!
They were becoming increasingly bright,
as the dust stirred by the hurried awakening of the terrible beast
Back to soberness
the flames brought me,
and awakened in my heart
a new instinctive fear,
like that of animals!
He was gazing at me,
and these were his eyes;
as a flame of fire.
Blooded with extreme redness,
staring directly at my eyes
and at nothing else!
And as much as his hand gave,
his eyes took,
In terrifying steadiness,
with impossible honesty,
his eyes penetrated my soul,
put out my sight,
and extinguished the brightness of my eyes.
Few moments passed
he looked on into my eyes.
And no sound at all
came from him,
or from anything else around.
And nothing interrupted this utter ringing silence,
except my faint, trembling vocalizations,
which I released involuntarily
with my trembling breath.
he stopped staring at my eyes.
He stretched himself upright once more
after having been bent forward to inspect me.
The higher he rose,
the higher did also,
But he opened his great hand,
letting me fall!
I go down,
shocked and puzzled,
back to the earth.
He stands still,
so vast and so great,
He looks up toward the sky,
a terrible scream,
a beastly scream;
it destroys the prevailing silence,
with a coarse, trembling
packed with deep sorrow –
it lasts in time,
dominates the space,
and traverses across its corners.
The earth trembles beneath me!
My heart trembles inside me!
I run away,
away from the terrible beast.
And when his terrible scream ceases,
I look behind me
thinking that he is following me.
But I find him
standing there still
in the very spot when I first saw him,
looking at me,
so small I am
Our eyes meet once more.
And oh my heart!
Never before have I seen all that pain
in a creature’s eyes!
My courage eludes me,
and I look away,
I remove my sight
away from the tyranny
of the truth of his eyes.
toward the village,
faster and faster,
I go away,
further and further.
And when I realise that he is not following me,
I stop to catch my fading breath,
and look back
to glimpse him,
flying with two great wings,
widely extended from his back!
He flies away,
up and beyond,
beyond the trees.
It was dreaming!
It was dreaming of me.
It was dreaming,