illusionologist

The Duration of Life

I would like to share one of my favorite stories I read as a child. Though I have read the entirety of the Grimm fairy tales, this one was quite striking to me.

The Duration of Life

by

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm


When God created the world and was about to determine the duration of life for all the creatures, the donkey came and asked, “Lord, how long am I to live?”

"Thirty years," answered God. "Is that all right with you?"

"Oh, Lord," replied the donkey, "that is a long time. Think of my tiresome existence carrying heavy loads from morning until night, dragging bags of grain to the mill so that others might eat bread, only to be cheered along and refreshed with kicks and blows! Spare me part of this long time."

So God had mercy and gave him eighteen years. The donkey went away satisfied, and the dog made his appearance.

"How long do you want to live?" said God to him. "Thirty years was too much for the donkey, but you will be satisfied with that long."

"Lord," answered the dog. "Is that your will? Just think how much I have to run. My feet will not hold out so long. And what can I do but growl and run from one corner to another after I have lost my voice for barking and my teeth for biting?"

God saw that he was right, and he took away twelve years. Then came the monkey.

"Surely you would like to live thirty years," said the Lord to him. "You do not need to work like the donkey and the dog, and are always having fun."

"Oh, Lord," he answered, "so it appears, but it is different. When it rains porridge, I don’t have a spoon. I am always supposed to be playing funny tricks and making faces so people will laugh, but when they give me an apple and I bite into it, it is always sour. How often is sorrow hidden behind a joke. I cannot put up with all that for thirty years!"

God had mercy and gave him ten years. Finally man made his appearance. Cheerful, healthy, and refreshed, he asked God to determine the duration of his life.

"You shall live thirty years," spoke the Lord. "Is that enough for you?"

"What a short time!" cried the man. "When I have built a house and a fire is burning on my own hearth, when I have planted trees that blossom and bear fruit, and am just beginning to enjoy life, then I am to die. Oh, Lord, extend my time."

"I will add the donkey’s eighteen years," said God.

"That is not enough," replied the man.

"You shall also have the dog’s twelve years."

"Still too little."

"Well, then," said God, "I will give you the monkey’s ten years as well, but you shall receive no more."

The man went away, but he was not satisfied.

Thus man lives seventy years. The first thirty are his human years, and they quickly disappear. Here he is healthy and happy; he works with pleasure, and enjoys his existence. The donkey’s eighteen years follow. Here one burden after the other is laid on him; he carries the grain that feeds others, and his faithful service is rewarded with kicks and blows. Then come the dog’s twelve years, and he lies in the corner growling, no longer having teeth with which to bite. And when this time is past, the monkey’s ten years conclude. Now man is weak headed and foolish; he does silly things and becomes a laughingstock for children.

Laconism of a Vanished Hubris

The statues crumbled, their visage sunk under a sea of sand;

The inscripted hubris of the mighty now speak only silence.

The mangled vestiges of pride speak more vehemently of fate than the glare of command sculpted unmitigatedly in their visage.

The forte of a passion that once was

Now lays silent as the countenance of temporality prolongs the song of soundless sound.

The stars linger in raucous silence; never having wept for the paltry of pride.

fucktheory:

The Young Faggot’s Guide to Ethical Cruising
This one’s for you.  You know who you are.

fucktheory:

The Young Faggot’s Guide to Ethical Cruising

This one’s for you.  You know who you are.

wfmu:

40 Hidden Artworks Painted on the Edges of Books

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

—   Lao Tzu (via felicefawn)

(Source: jan1961, via ryanjblum)

(Source: modrules, via braiker)

fucktheory:

Headlines

fucktheory:

Headlines

sommartidsvarmod:

thevictorianduchess:

View of Dresden by Moonlight (detail)
Johan Christian Dahl
Oil on canvas
c. 1839

This is very beautiful.

(via mindoutoftime)

havocados:

theberlinveganist:

And this image is the true face of the egg industry.
These cute little baby male chicks are a ‘by-product’ of our scrambled eggs every morning.
They are not destined to hop around with fluffy bunnies outside as our Easter cards would have us believe but are headed for the shredder or are piled up in their thousands and left to suffocate in bins.

You. Do.Not.Need. To. Eat. Eggs.


Eat free-range.

havocados:

theberlinveganist:

And this image is the true face of the egg industry.

These cute little baby male chicks are a ‘by-product’ of our scrambled eggs every morning.

They are not destined to hop around with fluffy bunnies outside as our Easter cards would have us believe but are headed for the shredder or are piled up in their thousands and left to suffocate in bins.

You.
Do.
Not.
Need.
To.
Eat.
Eggs.

Eat free-range.

(via ryanjblum)