Amiel’s Journal Excerpt

Mary did it again, just as I was doing a little pining one morning. Just perfect!

Let mystery have its place in you,

do not be always turning up your whole soil

with the plowshare of self examination,

but leave a little fallow corner in your heart

ready for any seed the winds may bring,

and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird,

keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests,

an altar for the unknown God.

Then if a bird sings among your branches,

do not be too eager to tame it.

If you are conscious of something new –

thought or feeling, wakening in the depths of your being –

do not be in a hurry to let in light upon it, to look at it;

let the springing germ have the protection of being forgotten,

hedge it round with quiet, and do not break in upon its darkness,

let it take shape and grow, and not a word of your happiness to any one!

Sacred work of nature as it is, all conception should be enwrapped

by the triple veil of modesty, silence and night.

~Excerpt from Amiel’s Journal

Translated by Mary A. Ward

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