dinsdag 20 januari 2015

W.N.P. Barbellion -- 21 januari 1917

W.N.P. Barbellion (1989-1919) was het pseudoniem van Bruce Frederick Cummings, een Britse natuurvorser. Hij overleed aan multiple sclerose. Zijn dagboeken worden nog steeds gelezen.

January 21.

Death

What a delightful thing the state of Death would be if the dead passed their time haunting the places they loved in life and living over again the dear delightful past — if death were one long indulgence in the pleasures of memory ! if the disembodied spirit forgot all the pains of its previous existence and remembered only the happiness! Think of me flitting about the orchards and farm-yards in birdsnesting, walking along the coast among the seabirds, climbing Exmoor, bathing in streams and in the sea, haunting all my old loves and passions, cutting open with devouring curiosity Rabbits, Pigeons, Frogs, Dogfish, Amphioxus; think of me, too, at length unwillingly deflected from these cherished pursuits in the raptures of first love, cutting her initials on trees and fences instead of watching birds, day-dreaming over Parker and Haswell and then bitterly reproaching myself later for much loss of precious time. How happy I shall be if Death is like this: to be living over again and again all my ecstasies, over first times — the first time I found a Bottle Tit's nest, the first time I succeeded in penetrating into the fastnesses of my El Dorado — Exmoor, the first time I gazed upon the internal anatomy of a Snail, the first time I read Berkeley's Principles of Human Understanding (what a soul-shaking epoch that was !), and the first time I kissed her ! My hope is that I may haunt these times again, that I may haunt the places, the books, the bathes, the walks, the desires, the hopes, the first (and last) loves of my life all transfigured and beatified by sovereign Memory.

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