donderdag 4 maart 2010

The Star Thrower

Vandaag, tijdens de emailcorrespondentie met iemand die -terecht- boos en verdrietig wordt van dingen die met paarden gebeuren terwijl ze toch als "kijk eens hoe fantastisch" bestempeld worden door mensen die beter zouden moeten weten, dacht ik terug aan het kortverhaal "The Star Thrower" van Loren Eiseley. Je hebt er vast variantes op gelezen - het echte verhaal (als je ooit in mijn buurt komt kan je het vinden in mijn boekenkast) bleek niet zo duidelijk als de interpreterende variantes erop, zoals deze hier.

"In a pool of sand and silt a starfish had thrust its arms up stiffly and was holding its body away from the stifling mud.
"It's still alive," I ventured.
"Yes," he said, and with a quick yet gentle movement he picked up the star and spun it over my head and far out into the sea. It sunk in a burst of spume, and the waters roared once more.
..."There are not many who come this far," I said, groping in a sudden embarrassment for words. "Do you collect?"
"Only like this," he said softly, gesturing amidst the wreckage of the shore. "And only for the living." He stooped again, oblivious of my curiosity, and skipped another star neatly across the water. "The stars," he said, "throw well. One can help them."
..."I do not collect," I said uncomfortably, the wind beating at my garments. "Neither the living nor the dead. I gave it up a long time ago. Death is the only successful collector."