Saturday, November 11, 2006

Give It Another Shot, Always

Your talk of ghosts is harrowing, and the abrupt end of your letter leaves me in some suspense as to your safety. I hope you do not mind my writing to your mother to inquire about your health. I did so quite reservedly, though, and you need not fear that I have divulged or suggested anything to her that would be unseemly. I think she needs no such suggestions. If something has followed you from that sinister inn and has done you harm, I feel it should be on my head and would weigh heavily on me. Of ghosts one must be wary. There is much in this world that lurks in the interstices between the living and the dead: souls misdirected on their passage, hateful spirits enchained in hallowed ground. We may often encounter the incredulous among our peers, but you and I are kindred in our courage to admit to the existence of these beings, and it is this courage, so often belittled by those around us, which will afford us the fortitude to face them when they threaten and to heed their will if it be righteous. I trust this courage has not failed you.
In order not to wring my hands, I should turn now briefly to other matters in the hopes that when this letter reaches you, you should be safe enough to enjoy lighter fare.
This sanatorium you mention where Ophelia has gone: though I do not doubt the good intentions of your self or your family, I think there must be places more conducive to the health of the spirits than the place you describe. Certainly Zurich (and no doubt the Alps in general) are ideal, where one is able to stroll the narrow paths that climb the precipices and descend into the pristine valleys in which nothing disturbs the tranquil satisfaction of nature as it admires itself in the mirror of a still lake. But in another institution perhaps she might find better company, instead of dying soldiers, she might meet a painter, or someone nice.
But my reason for mentioning her in my previous letter is as enigmatic to me as it is to you. I can only say that the woman whose acquaintance I so intimately failed to meet, simply called Ophelia's name to the lips of my mind, as if it wanted me to invoke her being without my own will playing its customary role. And at this point, I can put it no better. In time, maybe.
As for my voyage, Sancho Panza has fallen a trifle ill and we are held over in a quaint inn that bears no resemblance to the ombrous lodging that has recently benefited from your patronage. It sits on the bank of a quiet brook over which spans a bridge so narrow I think we shall have to wet the feet of our mounts when we depart. There is a blind old man who I believe is the grandfather of the housemaid, and who sits all day by a fire n the main room whittling the most extraordinary creations out of the supple yew branches I fetch for him. Some of the figures are so fine and so ingenious that they seem to dance when the wind blows through the open window. The man also whets my appetite for adventure as he tells me stories over his carving of the vicious beasts of the nearby forest, which he describes in the most meticulous detail from memory. I sate my anticipation in drawing these monsters while I wait for my comrade to recuperate.

Rest assured our correspondence is guarded.
Don Quixote De La Mancha


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