Posted on February 17, 2010
A Spanish priest was reading mass in bad English. He sang in awful tones into the over-amplified microphone, but behind him was some ivy on the stone wall, and there the sparrows were chattering, chattering so close to the microphone that one couldn’t understand the priest anymore. The sparrows were amplified a hundred-fold. Then a pale young girl collapsed on the steps and died.
I really like the ivy on the wall. I would have cut out “anymore” from the second sentence. The fourth is gorgeous.
Dunn sent me this book, Of Walking in Ice, by Werner Herzog, a short account of a long walk he took in 1974. The best passages are simple impressions like this. No valuation, no explanation, no connection to a larger narrative.