55. LV. THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY.
My mouthpiece--is of the people: too coarsely and cordially do I talk for
Angora rabbits. And still stranger soundeth my word unto all ink-fish and
My hand--is a fool's hand: woe unto all tables and walls, and whatever
hath room for fool's sketching, fool's scrawling!
My foot--is a horse-foot; therewith do I trample and trot over stick and
stone, in the fields up and down, and am bedevilled with delight in all
My stomach--is surely an eagle's stomach? For it preferreth lamb's flesh.
Certainly it is a bird's stomach.
Nourished with innocent things, and with few, ready and impatient to fly,
to fly away--that is now my nature: why should there not be something of
And especially that I am hostile to the spirit of gravity, that is bird-nature:--
verily, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally hostile!
Oh, whither hath my hostility not flown and misflown!
Thereof could I sing a song--and WILL sing it: though I be alone in an
empty house, and must sing it to mine own ears.
Other singers are there, to be sure, to whom only the full house maketh the
voice soft, the hand eloquent, the eye expressive, the heart wakeful:--
those do I not resemble.--
He who one day teacheth men to fly will have shifted all landmarks; to him
will all landmarks themselves fly into the air; the earth will he christen
anew--as "the light body."
The ostrich runneth faster than the fastest horse, but it also thrusteth
its head heavily into the heavy earth: thus is it with the man who cannot
Heavy unto him are earth and life, and so WILLETH the spirit of gravity!
But he who would become light, and be a bird, must love himself:--thus do