Monday, 19 November 2012

Now I see the rocky island again.
I see it quite clearly.
A rocky island far out in the sea, and a second, smaller island.
They lie on the far edge of the inhabited world.
On one island, for centuries, some forgotten men have lived.
And because they live on the far edge of the inhabited world word has not reached them that the Earth is round.
They have retained the belief that the Earth is flat and that the ocean far beyond ends in a yawning abyss.
I see a man on top of the rock.
For years he stood alone looking out over the sea day after day, always in the same place.
He is the first one to doubt.
Then, years later, three other men join him.
For many years they gaze across the sea from the rock.
Then, one day, they decide to risk the ultimate.
They want to reach the edge of the world, to see if there is really an abyss.
Musicians accompany their departure.
Then the men set out, pathetic and senseless.
In a boat that is far too small.

It may have seemed like a sign of hope that the birds followed them out into the vastness of the sea.

- Werner Herzog and Herbert Achternbusch (Island in the Sea of Time - closing segment of Heart of Glass, 1976)

Picture: "Book of Blank Maps" - undated and author uncredited.

Island in the Sea of Time.

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