Friday, June 30, 2017

The Ear of the Heart and the Elixir of Life (A High and Lovely Place)

It's telling that Dante, so early in his journey, speaks of the inner voice that has grown faint, perhaps from too much silence.

On the surface, this reference to Silence seems strange indeed.  The inner voice is silent. Yet, it is silence, that often calls the inner voice to the surface.  The inner voice is silent because of an absence of Silence.

When first I began to frequent monasteries, and to learn about the Benedictine way of living and being, the silence was deafening.  Too much noise.  I wanted to cup my hands over my ears, so much did the noise seem to suffocate me. In the stillness, I heard only a cacophony of voices. None of them really my own.

Of course, that was entirely the point.

In the early days of talking with these monks and also working with my spiritual director, they both regularly said to me, "Annie, Slow Down. Be Still."  Be Still, and Know that I am God (Ps. 46:10). Dante clearly hadn't been that still for some time. (Nor had I).  I didn't know that one must listen with the ear of the heart. I didn't even know how to listen with the ear of my heart. But that comes later.

One of my favorite places in the world is a valley in the French Savoie, La Grande Chartreuse. You can get there from Geneva, where I once lived, and it's not far from Chamonix. It is a valley of great silences and great beauty and where the snow capped peaks of the French Alps are visible to the naked eye, beckoning. I've done a fair bit of climbing there, around Mont Blanc, and stayed in huts along the routes.  I supposed those beckoning voices of the high alps were a kind of clarion call to my heart.  They hearkened spaciousness. They seemed to promise to draw me into the depths.  Deep calling to deep.

I first read about this magical valley in my all-time favorite cookbook, L'Auberge (Inn) of the Flowering Hearth, by Roy Andries de Groot.
 Describing his approach to the valley, he titles it "Journey to that High and Lovely Place." It is a place of intense beauty and great silence, a silence so utterly deafening as to call to the surface that faint whisper, that still, small voice. The Voice of Stillness.  If you would like to have an experience of this, watch the spellbinding movie about the monastery here, Into Great Silence.  Not for nothing is it referred to as "La Vallee du Desert."

At the Auberge, de Groot discovers a mountain cuisine, both rustic and refined, without any hint of artifice. He describes quail cooked over the living room hearth, and dripping onto little toasts. He also speaks of alpine potato pancakes, which remind me of the Rosti my French-Swiss grandmother cooked for me as child, and which I often ate myself in these high mountains.  Would you care to try them? They are delicious, especially with the addition of a little bacon.  The French changed the recipe a bit from the Swiss version, but they are both delicious. Here is his recipe:

Serves 4

4 medium russet potatoes
3 eggs
4 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ t. fresh rosemary, finely minced
4 T. clarified butter
2 T. vegetable oil
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper to taste
2 T. heavy cream, more or less
Bake the potatoes until done. Cut open and scoop out the pulp. Place in a 1-quart mixing bowl, mash but not too much; add eggs, scallions, garlic, parsley, and rosemary. Add cream, just enough to be able to form patty-like mounds of the potato mixture.  Shape the pancakes about a quarter inch thick and two inches across. Heat 3 T. of the butter and 2 T. vegetable oil in heavy sauté pan about 10 inches in diameter, assuring you have enough oil to cover the pan. Form patties about ¼ inch thick and 2 inches wide.  Carefully place the patties in the butter/oil in the skillet. Fry until brown and crisp on both sides. Serve hot.

Legend has it that the river "Le Guiers," (pronounced gay) bound up with this high and lovely place, rises from two separate rivers, about six miles apart, in the high alps. One, de Groot describes, is on the slopes of the Dent-de-Crolles, the other at the foot of the Cirque de Saint-Meme.  Both these rivers tumble down the mountains onto the high plateau.  There, like an adolescent boy and a spirited girl, they tumble.  The boy river is said to be dreamy, lazy and slow, with jade green waters and deep, smooth pools. His name is Le Guiers Mort.  But he is hardly dead. "In Spring," de Groot writes, when the melting snows flood down into the valleys, he is as wildly alive as any torrent.  (Remember my post about the French language?).  His floods have destroyed villages and again and again drowned the cattle and ruined the crops.  The other, the girl river, has the reputation of being spirited and wild--of running a course of speed and violence, plunging, frothy, white.  Her official name is Le Guiers Vif.  Yet, she is hardly so alive during the summer droughts.  She can be as dead as the lily pond in cemetery.  Boy and Girl finally meet and merge at a village called "Entre-les-Deux-Guiers.  By then, they have already completed the work for which we must be grateful.  They have cut a path for us through a wall of rock almost five thousand feet high."  No still waters they. But they cut deep.

St. Bruno founded the monastery in 1085. The Romans had called the area "catursiani", meaning “little house where one is alone in an isolated and wild place.” (More on this later). And from this word comes “Chartreuse," the sweet green liquor distilled at the monastery there by "Les pères Chartreux" from a secret recipe.  The story of these monks, Groot describes, possessed of a secret process known only to them, and living at the top of their high valley in complete silence and isolation, is a saga entwined with the history of France, and a romantic one.
The recipe for Chartreuse came from a mysterious manuscript donated to the monks in 1602 by Marshal d’Estrées, a courtier of the French king, Henri IV. Today, the distillery, which makes the elixir from over 130 medicinal plants, both the yellow (lower sugar) and green (traditional) variety—is located in nearby Voiron.

Reading about Dante's journey, which eventually led to the climb into the heavens, I was reminded of this "High and Lovely Place" of Silences. Can you imagine yourself, making an ascent into this alpine valley? I love how de Groot describes his ascent, how the gorge opens out into a wide, wild valley, rising to a high plateau, and how this reveals the first glimpse of the great Alpine "massifs" (where I have climbed), looking like an immense and impregnable fortress, wreathed in pure white mist. I remember this view, and the granite walls that rose up, sheer and straight for almost five thousand feet, from the floor of the plateau.  De Groot says that behind this unscalable wall the white peaks mount higher still. I remember thinking about Dante when first I saw it.  This must have been how he felt when he had his first glimpse of the heavens, the one that pulled him out of his fear and despair. Deep calling to deep.

In the next blog post I will tell you why the valley is called "La Vallee du Desert," and we will speak more about silence.  But for today, I wanted to comment about listening.  Benedict, the founder of the first monasteries, opens his "Rule," the document for monastic living, with the word "Listen". Dante learns this when he meets Virgil, his guide, and realizes his life depends upon his ability to listen to him. "Listen with the ear of your heart," Benedictine exhorts.  These Benedictine monasteries, where I have learned to listen, are famous for their hospitality and the welcome of the open door. But we forget at our own great loss that it is not only the hospitality of the open door that aids our journey, but more importantly, the welcome of the open heart. As we travel, dear Reader, examine your heart.  Is it open? We have yet to cross the pass into the valley.

Leave a comment if you'd like! I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rest At the Banqueting Table of Hope (even at the threshold of hell)

One thing Dante knew, almost from the beginning, is that he was in the midst of a battle for his life.  Having once gained a glimpse of the hill beyond, he only just begins to climb when he is confronted and his path utterly blocked by three fierce beasts.  I think it's true that at midlife, if we are not too sleepy, as he says he was before he landed in exile, we begin to see that a battle rages within us for freedom.

This is a battle I recognize. If we are very, very lucky, like Dante, and have lived a bit, at some point we might awaken enough to see that the objectives and attitudes that have characterized the first "half" of our lives (Dante was 35) no longer really satisfy. I say lucky because one thing we are experts at doing, is convincing ourselves otherwise. Life is fine. I am fine. And we are masters at distracting ourselves from the fear that all may not be well. Our distractions are numerous and create "addictions" and "attachments" that keep us from facing our own abyss.  And we are so very good at it.  Yet, if we are open to Mystery, to use Jung's language, we begin to see that the ego, the center of the rational consciousness, is not master in its own house, that we are stumbling around in the dark and that our former goals (power, position, respect, family, success, etc.) are not what we once imagined them to be.

After the death of my father, more than ten years ago now, and the beginning of a pretty spectacular tumbling in my life, an Anglican priest friend wrote to me to ask if he could be of any assistance. I blithely responded that I had no need of any spiritual direction: after all, I read the same books and had a similar background as he. Those beasts were breathing down my neck, and my response was proof positive of it!  But I was heroically, spectacularly, distracted. And I meant to keep it that way. (Fortunately, my friend did not back down and bow out, but that's another story).

The Franciscan priest and prolific author Richard Rohr, in his book "Falling Upward," writes about this dilemma:  "None of us go into our spiritual maturity completely of our own accord, or by a totally free choice. (Dante surely did not). We are led there by Mystery, or what religious people rightly call grace...Most of us are never told that we can set out from the known and the familiar to take on a further journey.  Our institutions and expectations, including our churches, are almost entirely configured to encourage, support, reward and validate the tasks of the first half of life."  And to begin to live out a different truth and walk a different path is damned uncomfortable for those steeped in the validation of the first.  Thomas Merton, the American monk, and one of my armchair mentors, pointed out that we may spend our whole life climbing the ladder of success, only to find that when we get to the top, our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

Dante was exiled. And that was a very great grace, a Mystery he stepped into, seemingly unawares (asleep).  And that Mystery was leading him in the battle for his life.

Ok, I've had a lot of Mystery.

As Mark Musa (the translation of the Divine Comedy I am using) writes in his notes to Canto I, "When he (Dante) starts to climb the hill his path is blocked, by three fierce beasts: first a Leopard, then a Lion, and finally a She-Wolf (more on these beasts of burden in a later post). They fill him with fear and drive him back down to the sunless wood.  At that moment the figure of a man appears before him; it is the shade of Virgil, and the Pilgrim begs for help. Virgil (the Guide sent to him) tells him that he cannot overcome the beasts which obstruct his path; they must remain until a “Greyhound” comes who will drive them back to Hell. Rather by another path will the Pilgrim reach the sunlight..."

There is no freedom, or yet peace, without facing down the beasts within. Yikes.  A battle rages.

Dante awoke to a dark wood, and he was so heavy and full of sleep when first he stumbled from the narrow way.  He recognized that the path to this freedom was the narrow Way, and he knows he had stumbled off of it. The dark wood is the threshold of the whole journey, writes Helen Luke, in her wonderful book "Dark Wood to White Rose," but it is also an immediate threshold to an immediate gateway, through which we must pass in a direction that leads away from our goal.

Moreover, as Dante discovered, we are incapable of finding it alone. We need friends on pilgrimages. We were never meant to walk alone.  Helen Luke argues that no man or woman can safely cross the dark gate of the shadow world without knowing that some deeply loved and trusted person has faith in his courage to come through.

Finding oneself in such a place, on the threshold of this pilgrimage can surely be terrifying. But there is only one saving path: to admit that one is completely lost (blessed are the poor in spirit), and to force oneself to look up and away for a moment from our self-pity (from being turned in our ourselves) and absorption in the ego and to affirm hope. (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven). Remember, Dante looked up.  We learn, struggling in our dark wood, says Helen Luke, "that we cannot hope to find wholeness by repressing the shadow side of ourselves, or by the most heroic efforts of the ego to climb up, to achieve goodness.  The leopard, the lion and the wolf will not allow it, Thank God."  It is when we admit our powerlessness, that the guide appears, as it did for Dante.

The soul has many secrets, Rohr argues, and most are revealed only to those who really want them. (Seek, and you shall find).  And one of the best kept secrets, and yet one hidden in plain sight, is that the way up is the way down.  Or, if you prefer, the way down is the way up.  Dante asks: "Tell me how you dared to make this journey all the way down to this point of spacelessness?"  And his answer? "Because your question searches for deep meaning."

To be spiritually free, we have first to go all the way down.

For a start, it's clear that Dante was going to have to travel through his own hell in order to reach the point where he might start climbing.  He had been full of an interior slumber. But before he could even begin to walk, Dante forced himself to open his eyes, to awaken from his 'sleep' and look with eyes wide open at his fear.   He also begins to appreciate that "while I was rushing down to that low place, my eyes made out a figure coming toward me of one grown faint, perhaps from too much silence."  This is a recognition that his conscience, or his voice of reason, had been long silenced.

The message is pretty clear, I'd say.

But he was not without Hope. Dante not only forced himself to look back with wide open eyes at his fear, he rested awhile. So, dear Readers, do not despair. Take Heart. (Did you know the word courage means to take heart?) There is rest for the weary.  Since journeying on this path, many years back now, I have wondered about the Psalmist's claim that The Lord is closest to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18). More recently, I have begun to see that there is Rest in the midst of the battle with the enemies within us. And that rest is a great big banqueting table. When Dante looks up, his fear begins to subside. And then he rests in the company of his guide.

When we walked, my father and I often recited Psalm 23, and the great line of that poem "He sets a table for me in the presence of my enemies" has long fascinated me. Of course it would. One thing we did on those long walks was to feast. We brought canned crab and cocktail sauce (guilty pleasure with packs already heavy).  Sometimes we packed in wine. We dined each evening, even when our feet hurt from walking and our bodies ached for sleep. At the Table is the connection, and the restoration, and the Rest that gives us sustenance for the journey.

The theologian Samuel Wells in his book "God's Companions" argues that one of the most important symbols (for icons help us to peer into Reality, like a window) of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is the Rublev icon, known as the "Hospitality of Abraham," which depicts three divine persons gathered around a table for a meal together. Remember Abraham went on a journey, in search of God.  He left all he knew and made a pilgrimage.
There is an empty place on the viewer's side of the table, which seems to offer an invitation to come and dine.  The heavenly banquet is the most characteristic symbol of the life of the Kingdom, and Jesus himself enacts these banquets himself in his many significant meals with sinners, strangers, crowds and disciples. These are invitations to join the feast with God.

If the enduring image of the Kingdom is a banquet, this hardly suggests that the pilgrimage is without its food and daily bread and wine. And I, for one, believe that in the fullest sense, to dine together in this way is sacramental living. It is to participate in the great mystery of the heavenly reality while still on earth.

So come and dine with me as we journey. Pilgrimages require friends and tables. Don't walk alone. Those glimpses of Heaven did a lot for Dante and gave him Hope for the walk ahead.  What are you serving at your table tonight?  Leave a comment, Dear Reader, and tell me what you think of the journey thus far.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

L'air Fragile

The French have a way of saying something that implies multiple levels of meaning. It is why the French language often can be so intimidating. At first, learning the grammar, and putting together simple phrases, one wonders why all the fuss? It seems quite simple, really. And then the hammer falls. Not unlike the American patriot and President John Adams, discovering on his first visit to Paris that the ladies at table had him for lunch, despite his French.  He hadn't realized he was on the menu.  In French conversation, one can easily find oneself swimming in these murky waters until one eventually realizes that one is well out of his or her depth. And then, perhaps, there is hope in that recognition.  It is a kind of spiritual discipline to learn French. One must lay aside one's ego for a time if any progress is to be made, and embrace the humility of not knowing. One can begin.

The phrase about which I write is "L'air fragile."  "Elle a l'air fragile," the French might say, for example, of a young woman.
In our post and third wave feminist-infused culture, we might too easily discount this comment as unnecessarily dismissive of women's strength, but as is often the case with the French, who are not bound by such silliness, and rarely underestimate women,  the meaning is far more profound and has far more to say about the kind of strength that endures. To possess a fragile air is a great compliment: it suggests an openness to life and its teachings, a vulnerability to love and learning and trust that we often lose as we age, so well fortressed are our hearts. If only we could see that we are all beginners.  If we had any perspective at all, we might come to realize that we are all only ever beginners, something my spiritual director used to tell me all the time.

I find this especially true of cooking. It has been many decades since I first learned the grammar of cooking, since French chefs in various restaurants yelled at me for my technique and my habits.  And after a time, one wonders why all the fuss? It seems quite simple, really.  And then. Yes, and Then. I remember eating at a restaurant in Crissier, near Geneva, whose chef, the wonderful Fredy Giardet (one of my culinary heroes), cooked a simple salmon dish. That food was a revelation to my young eyes, and a lesson for my young heart. I realized that to cook simply is an art of very great measure, and to coax the best from one's food is far more complex, far more difficult than I had imagined. It is the work of a lifetime. It requires the narrow way. The way of the easy yoke.  It requires "L'air fragile." And it is the most difficult thing in the world.

The great chef Alice Waters tells a story of serving a perfectly ripe melon in her restaurant as a entree, or starter. The guests were disappointed. They wanted something dressed up, perhaps not realizing that there is a long-respected and lauded art in France associated with a perfectly ripe melon.
However many wonderful things one might do with a melon (and my favorite is to serve it with Beaumes de Venise muscat wine in the cavity), there is nothing as sublime as a counter-ripened melon at perfection.  But achieving this is anything but easy, though it is simple. Of course, this is not a new idea. Richard Olney, another of my culinary mentors, wrote a book about Simple Food. (All his books are worthy). In the preface, Olney concedes, after a considerable treatise on the pitfalls of categorization, that simplicity, without doubt, is a complex thing.

One of my favorite chefs of the current milieu is Naomi Pomeroy.   Her book, "Taste and Technique" is a masterpiece of this philosophy, and her food ethos and aesthetic are endlessly appealing.

If you want to begin to cook really well, start at the beginning. Take time with your technique and don't presume. Instead, approach cooking with "L'air fragile," much as she does, treating the ingredients like the gift they are, respecting them, learning what each can teach you, and working on each element of preparation to understand the nuance.  Be like a child. To that heart, is open the kingdom of God.

Tonight, at Table, I am going to serve a "Confetti Salad," which seems a celebration of all things summer, and serve it with grilled salmon. This dish is a lesson in treating each of the glorious ingredients as works of art, and combining them to create a symphony. Richard Olney liked this metaphor of the complexity of conceiving a larger symphony--a simple menu, and transforming each element into an uncomplicated statement that will surprise or soothe a gifted palate, drawing from various elements to form a new harmony.  If you want to try it, click on this link for the recipe and see for yourself if you can achieve harmony.

That old and beautiful Shaker hymn, "Tis a Gift to be Simple, Tis a Gift to be Free" is a reflection of what Dante begins to understand as he raises his head to the hilltop beyond. My father used to tell me that our 30 mile day hikes were lessons in perspective, and as I have become older, I have learned that this is true.  He also, often, told me to look up. Sometimes we are so consumed with the pounding of our own feet we forget to look up. Now I am wondering if he was thinking about Dante when he said both things. It wouldn't surprise me.

"I raised my head and saw the hilltop shawled in morning rays of light sent from the planet that leads men straight ahead on every road.

And then only did terror start subsiding in my heart’s lake, which rose to heights of fear that night I spent in deepest desperation." (Canto I)

In looking up, in focusing his eyes on the hilltop, our friend and fellow pilgrim Dante begins to have acquired a little perspective, and this perspective is an antidote to his fear.  Looking up is also the antidote to escaping the chains of our own egos. We are not simply "incurvatus in se", to quote Augustine, or "turned in on ourselves."  Look up, yes. But how to become free? Stay tuned. We've only just begun to walk.  And not yet to climb.

Leave a comment if you like, dear Reader. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Dantean Pilgrimage Begins (Introduction)

Its been a long time since I've written in my blog, and I have decided to revive it. Will you join me At the Table with Annie?  As before, these posts will be musings on life, food and theology, but with a very specific direction for a time: the pilgrimage with Dante.

I'm writing from the secretary desk in my bedroom, which is a sympathetic spot possessed of outlook and comfort, and a certain amount of splendor, just enough to awaken the senses to Beauty, and hopefully not to dull them with over-indulgence.  My desk is quite inviting, filled with all the little momentos that have made up a life thus far: photographs in little silver frames, letter writing supplies and a French blotter. Someday I'm going to have a big antique pine table as my desk, with a very simple white pitcher of garden roses for inspiration. As I have become older, my tastes have simplified and my aesthetic has become more relaxed. I have less need for the stuff that accompanies my journey, or perhaps life has edited the clutter, or I don't have as much need for props. That would be encouraging. But for now, this desk is a pleasant place to perch.  Above me are shelves of books filled with many treasures marking other inquiries over the years. That, too, is an encouragement.

I spent the morning working in my vegetable garden, which I am reconfiguring this year to include planter boxes on either side of my parterre garden. I designed this vegetable garden with Andre' le Notre as my inspiration and guide: only the parterres are visible from the road, the rest of the garden hidden by a sleight of hand wrought of careful changes in elevation.  This is not a bad metaphor for what I am undertaking in this blog: what is visible in life is only a very small part of the Real Story. The planter boxes have been built for me by my son to replace the French intensive row crops I have planted in the past, he having convinced me of the new plan's superiority. The sun is now out after a cloudy morning, and a cool breeze blows off the water and into the place where I live.  I need the cool breezes today.  Dinner is planned and prepped, and will be a savory clafoutis with leeks and corn and dark leafy greens served with an ombre heirloom tomato tartine with basil mayonnaise and cut into wedges.Today is cool and sunny, suggesting summer but not heat, so a baked clafoutis will not go amiss and the tomato tartan will still remind us that summer is upon us.  These keepings are comforting in a world in flux.

It is with this flux, both in the world and in my life, that I begin my summer pilgrimage with Dante's Divine Comedy. I have most of my adult life cultivated a habit of choosing a summer reading theme each year.  But this year, which has been especially challenging, it seemed more of a pilgrimage was in order, a kind of Way made by walking.  You may know that this is the 750th year anniversary of the publication of this great work by a brilliant spiritual master. Dante Alighieri, the author of the Divine Comedy, was born in Florence in May 1265, and recently, even the Pope has heartily endorsed reading it as a spiritual guide in this commemorative year. It has been more than 30 years since I have read it, and when I did I was too young to understand it as a spiritual guide. I hadn't been battered about by life yet, and I was still largely living a charmed existence, and still pursuing existence before essence.  But we'll get to Sartre later.

For most of my adult life, I have been fascinated by the concept of pilgrimages. This may be in part because of the long and arduous, yet spiritually rich trek my father and I made one year during a college summer on the Pacific Crest Trail throughout Oregon. We hiked 25+ miles a day with 50 pound packs, and it was arduous "walking" (as he called it), with little water, lots of heat, and little shade in some places. Yet, afterwards, I remembered only the things it taught me, save the red rock trails through part of Oregon, which I'll never quite forget. From the Middle Ages, the concept of a pilgrimage has tended to imply an endpoint or goal, such as a holy shrine that allowed the pilgrim to return home with a sense of accomplishment. I'll admit it: this has appeal. It is the appeal of the Camino, which I have longed to do since I first read about it 30 years ago. But the Celtic concept of pilgrimage, the peregrinate, is very different. It is not undertaken at the suggestion of a monastic abbot, for example, but because of an inner prompting in those who set out, a passionate desire or conviction to make an inner journey, wherever the Spirit might lead. Thomas Merton, one of my armchair mentors, taught his novices at his monastery at Gethsemene using Abraham as the exemplar of life as a journey: we go, leaving home, in search of God. 

When I learned about Benedict's "Rule", which he wrote to inform the new monastic life he was founding, I, like Benedict, wanted to be a peregrine (purposeful wanderer), not a gyrovag (aimless wanderer). Sometimes, this necessitates a guide, rather like the map my father and I used when we "wandered" (his words, as if it were an afternoon stroll, hah!) on the mountain trails. And thus, my friend and I, who have for the past year "walked" our way through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, have discovered that our pilgrimage was very rich indeed. (This was my forth time all the way through, and each time has been its own very distinct adventure.). Having completed the exercises, we looked about for another pilgrimage  and decided to walk with the purposeful meanderings of Dante, who, at midlife, found himself in a dark wood, and embarked on a journey that rescued him from exile and saved his life. 

And so opens the great epic poem: " Midway through the journey of our life, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off the straight path."  It's quite clear that Dante, having been battered by his Florentine life, having suffered political and personal ruin, and found himself exiled and alone, is facing a midlife crisis of the most profound sort. He writes that he finds himself in a wood of "wilderness, savage and stubborn,"  and that he found it a bitter place.  Eventually, we all come to this place, however artfully we keep this abyss at bay.  Recognizing that we are exiles in our own world is bitter indeed.  It is also a sign of great hope, for it is the human condition we finally embrace. And from that first step sings a choir of Hope, painful though it is. Dante doesn't stop here, either. He writes that if he would show the good that came of this recognition, and of the place itself, he must talk about things other than the good. He realizes that he has become sleepy, having strayed and left the path of truth.  But when he looks up, and raises his head momentarily out of his fear, he sees in the morning rays of light the planet that leads men straight ahead on every road. Hope.  But we have only just begun to walk.