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Return to the abandoned mill close to Gramat (Moulin de Saut)

In August I went back to the abandoned mill close to Gramat, in the Lot region, in France. I was there 2 years ago and at that time I was not aware of the spiritual value of this place.
But I am now.
The site has this quality of literally existing in a parallel world, sort of a timewarp.
You are there, hiking in the 21th century, you sit, motionless, at the end of the 19th century, and you are asleep there in, say the 12th century.
You go there, and the next moment you are fully absorbed by a microcosm that existed 100 years ago. And, in a strange way, it definitely points to the future.
You can come really close to the mill by car if you want to (500m.), although you will have to hike some 10km. if you want to discover other mills in the canyon.
But it would make no difference.
Suddenly, after descending in the narrow valley, it grabs you and you imagine the old miller, carrying a heavy load, a sack of buckweat…and another one…and another one.
And then it gets kind of mystic: the battered stone walls, ferns, gold and green in shady corners, ace of sunlight through the trees, drops of water, so clear, trickling, slowly trickling deep down there…into the pool, that exists in another time, another place.

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Franz Kafka/ Briefe an Milena


Franz Kafka/ Briefe an Milena
Ich habe noch einmal den Sonntagsbrief gelesen, er ist doch schrecklicher, als ich nach nach dem ersten Lesen dachte. Man müsste, Milena, Ihr Gesicht zwichen beide Hände nehmen und Ihnen fest in die Augen sehn, damit Sie in den Augen des andern sich selbst erkennen und von da an nicht mehr imstande sind, Dinge, wie Sie sie dort geschriebn haben, auch nur zu denken.
(Fischer Bücherei, 1970, Schocken Books, 1952)
The letters to Milena were originally published in German in 1952 as Briefe an Milena, edited by Willy Haas, who decided to delete certain passages which he thought might hurt people who were still alive at the time. The collection was first published in English by Schocken Books in 1953, translated by Tania and James Stern. A new German edition, restoring the passages Haas had deleted, was published in 1986, followed by a new English translation by Philip Boehm in 1990. This edition includes some of Milena’s letters to Max Brod, as well as four essays by her and an obituary for Kafka.

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