“The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.”

photo 2

“Not a breath, not a sound—except at intervals the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand—disturbed the solitude and silence surrounding Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained towards the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans. The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.” 

― Albert Camus, Exile and the Kingdom

Photograph:  © StephiaMadelyne

Catskill Mountains


5 thoughts on ““The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.”

  1. This entire post, the photograph, the type, the words, the background, seem to be carbon or scraped charcoal or black ash on snow. It all fits together in some kind of cold not cold, warm not warm design. A deep moment delivered. Beautiful and thank you.

  2. Ah yes. See, I knew you were an artist – and a wonderfully talented one at that – but the poetry, the poet in you. It all comes together… And again, I think you have perhaps given me one of the most meaningful, though-provoking compliments. Moreover, coming from someone like yourself (what I know of you through your comments and your blog – your art -) this truly means a great deal to me. I am so appreciative and touched. Thank you, Steven.

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