I encountered Jose Ortega y Gasset’s famous line in a novel the other day: “Yo soy yo y mi circumstancia” (“I am I and my circumstance”) Meditaciones del Quijote, 1914.” While he implies a dialectical tension perhaps not entirely in keeping with The Wyrd, I cannot mistake its echo in the statement. Spain was occupied by the Goths in the long ago, and they had a profound influence on the subsequent culture.
And then yesterday I encounter a series of excerpts from the letters of Vincent Van Gogh in which once again the ethos of Heathenism seems to lie between every line even as he invokes Christian concepts.
He who lives uprightly and experiences true difficulty and disappointment and is nonetheless undefeated by it is worth more than someone who prospers and knows nothing but relative good fortune.
Woe-spiritedness is quite a good thing to have, if only one writes it as two words, woe is in all people, everyone has reason enough for it, but one must also have spirit, the more the better, and it is good to be someone who never despairs.
Everyone thinks of Van Gogh as a painter of France although he was of Dutch and so Germania ancestry. Am I seeing chimera where I wish to find them, mirage of water in the desert, a Lore overload spilling onto the floor? Or is our cosmos opening up its hidden, unforgotten patterns all about me?
I rather think the last, although perhaps I am suffering from an excess of enthusiasm. Then again just such an excess could be a gift of He Who Hung Upon the Tree for just such gifts, and I implored him just last week for inspiration in a specific circumstances but the gifts of the God’s do not always come neatly wrapped or on a certain date specific.
I believe in what I am seeing, the wisdom and ethos in unexpected places all around me.
First always, as sworn for my boon (a gift for a gift), Hail All Father for opening my eyes to the hidden wisdom all around me. And Hail Thor, Warder of Asgard and Migard, for the warrior wisdom of Vincent Van Gogh.