The Bell

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The Bell

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 19, 2000 2:28 pm

IN the narrow streets of a large town people often heard in the
evening, when the sun was setting, and his last rays gave a golden tint
to the chimney-pots, a strange noise which resembled the sound of a
Church bell; it only lasted an instant, for it was lost in the continual
roar of traffic and hum of voices which rose from the town. "The evening
Bell is ringing," people used to say; "the sun is setting!" Those who
walked outside the town, where the houses were less crowded and
interspersed by gardens and little fields, saw the evening sky much
better, and heard the sound of the bell much more clearly. It seemed as
though the sound came from a church, deep in the calm, fragrant wood, and
thither people looked with devout feelings.

A considerable time elapsed: one said to the other, "I really wonder
if there is a church out in the wood. The bell has indeed a strange sweet
sound! Shall we go there and see what the cause of it is?" The rich
drove, the poor walked, but the way seemed to them extraordinarily long,
and when they arrived at a number of willow trees on the border of the
wood they sat down, looked up into the great branches and thought they
were now really in the wood. A confectioner from the town also came out
and put up a stall there; then came another confectioner who hung a bell
over his stall, which was covered with pitch to protect it from the rain,
but the clapper was wanting.

When people came home they used to say that it had been very
romantic, and that really means something else than merely taking tea.
Three persons declared that they had gone as far as the end of the wood;
they had always heard the strange sound, but there it seemed to them as
if it came from the town. One of them wrote verses about the bell, and
said that it was like the voice of a mother speaking to an intelligent
and beloved child; no tune, he said, was sweeter than the sound of the

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Van Canna
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The Bell

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 19, 2000 10:11 pm

The sun shone most brightly; and the sound of the great unknown bell
was heard more distinctly than ever. They had a mind to go thither, all
except three.

One of them wished to go home and try on her ball dress,for this very dress and the ball were the cause of her being confirmed
this time, otherwise she would not have been allowed to go.

The second, a poor boy, had borrowed a coat and a pair of boots from the son of his
landlord to be confirmed in, and he had to return them at a certain time.

The third said that he never went into strange places if his parents were
not with him; he had always been a good child, and wished to remain so,
even after being confirmed, and they ought not to tease him for this;
they, however, did it all the same. These three, therefore did not go;
the others went on.

The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the confirmed children sang too, holding each other by the hand, for they had
no position yet, and they were all equal in the eyes of God.

little girls sat down and made garlands of flowers, they, therefore, did not go on. When
the others arrived at the willow trees, where the confectioner had put up
his stall, they said: "Now we are out here; the bell does not in reality
exist- it is only something that people imagine!"

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The Bell

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 20, 2000 5:56 am

Then suddenly the sound of the bell was heard so beautifully and
solemnly from the wood that four or five made up their minds to go still
further on. The wood was very thickly grown. It was difficult to advance:
wood lilies and anemones grew almost too high; flowering convolvuli and
brambles were hanging like garlands from tree to tree; while the
nightingales were singing and the sunbeams played. That was very

But the way was unfit for the girls; they would have torn
their dresses. Large rocks, covered with moss of various hues, were lying
about; the fresh spring water rippled forth with a peculiar sound. "I
don't think that can be the bell," said one of the confirmed children,
and then he lay down and listened.
And there he remained, and let the others walk on.

They came to a hut built of the bark of trees and branches; a large
crab-apple tree spread its branches over it, as if it intended to pour
all its fruit on the roof, upon which roses were blooming; the long
boughs covered the gable, where a little bell was hanging. Was this the
one they had heard? All agreed that it must be so, except one who said
that the bell was too small and too thin to be heard at such a distance,
and that it had quite a different sound to that which had so touched
men's hearts.

[ continued]
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The Bell

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 20, 2000 11:08 pm

Hi Jackie,

As Lori said “ the connection” __ it brought tears to my eyes.

Our pursuit of the martial arts must embrace a very strong emotional component! Without unleashing emotion we cannot hope to walk in step with self-preservation on all levels of our beings. By starving emotion we shut down into rigid, humorless, and sterile mindset which poisons life. Swamped by emotions we begin to grasp that they perfume life.

All loving emotions, like plants, shoot up most rapidly in the tempestuous atmosphere of life [ Richter]

The story has a beautiful ending!

Van Canna

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited August 20, 2000).]
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The Bell

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 20, 2000 11:32 pm

He who spoke was a king's son, and therefore the others said that
such a one always wishes to be cleverer than other people.

Therefore they let him go alone; and as he walked on, the solitude of
the wood produced a feeling of reverence in his breast; but still he
heard the little bell about which the others rejoiced, and sometimes,
when the wind blew in that direction, he could hear the sounds from the
confectioner's stall, where the others were singing at tea. But the deep
sounds of the bell were much stronger; soon it seemed to him as if an
organ played an accompaniment- the sound came from the left, from the
side where the heart is.

Now something rustled among the bushes, and a
little boy stood before the king's son, in wooden shoes and such a short
jacket that the sleeves did not reach to his wrists. They knew each
other: the boy was the one who had not been able to go with them because
he had to take the coat and boots back to his landlord's son. That he had
done, and had started again in his wooden shoes and old clothes, for the
sound of the bell was too enticing- he felt he must go on.

"We might go together," said the king's son. But the poor boy with
the wooden shoes was quite ashamed; he pulled at the short sleeves of his
jacket, and said that he was afraid he could not walk so fast; besides,
he was of opinion that the bell ought to be sought at the right, for
there was all that was grand and magnificent.

"Then we shall not meet," said the king's son, nodding to the poor
boy, who went into the deepest part of the wood, where the thorns tore
his shabby clothes and scratched his hands, face, and feet until they
bled. The king's son also received several good scratches, but the sun
was shining on his way, and it is he whom we will now follow, for he was
a quick fellow. "I will and must find the bell," he said, "if I have to
go to the end of the world."

Ugly monkeys sat high in the branches and clenched their teeth.
"Shall we beat him?" they said. "Shall we thrash him? He is a king's

But he walked on undaunted, deeper and deeper into the wood, where
the most wonderful flowers were growing; there were standing white star
lilies with blood-red stamens, sky-blue tulips shining when the wind
moved them; apple-trees covered with apples like large glittering soap
bubbles: only think how resplendent these trees were in the sunshine! All
around were beautiful green meadows, where hart and hind played in the

There grew magnificent oaks and beech-trees; and if the bark was
split of any of them, long blades of grass grew out of the clefts; there
were also large smooth lakes in the wood, on which the swans were
swimming about and flapping their wings. The king's son often stood still
and listened; sometimes he thought that the sound of the bell rose up to
him out of one of these deep lakes, but soon he found that this was a
mistake, and that the bell was ringing still farther in the wood. Then
the sun set, the clouds were as red as fire; it became quiet in the wood;
he sank down on his knees, sang an evening hymn and said: "I shall never
find what I am looking for!

Now the sun is setting, and the night, the
dark night, is approaching. Yet I may perhaps see the round sun once more
before he disappears beneath the horizon. I will climb up these rocks,
they are as high as the highest trees!" And then, taking hold of the
creepers and roots, he climbed up on the wet stones, where water-snakes
were wriggling and the toads, as it were, barked at him: he reached the
top before the sun, seen from such a height, had quite set. "Oh, what a

The sea, the great majestic sea, which was rolling its long
waves against the shore, stretched out before him, and the sun was
standing like a large bright altar and there where sea and heaven met-
all melted together in the most glowing colours; the wood was singing,
and his heart too.

The whole of nature was one large holy church, in
which the trees and hovering clouds formed the pillars, the flowers and
grass the woven velvet carpet, and heaven itself was the great cupola; up
there the flame colour vanished as soon as the sun disappeared, but
millions of stars were lighted; diamond lamps were shining, and the
king's son stretched his arms out towards heaven, towards the sea, and
towards the wood.

Then suddenly the poor boy with the short-sleeved
jacket and the wooden shoes appeared; he had arrived just as quickly on
the road he had chosen. And they ran towards each other and took one
another's hand, in the great cathedral of nature and poesy, and above
them sounded the invisible holy bell; happy spirits surrounded them,
singing hallelujahs and rejoicing.
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Van Canna
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The Bell

Postby Jackie Olsen » Mon Aug 21, 2000 5:10 am

Van ...

Please continue with the story! My grandparents had a picnic grove nestled in 17 acres of woods. In addition to the beer garden, the food hall, the cottages, the baseball diamond, the horseshoe grove ... stood a beautiful dance hall with a small bell tower.

When the dance hall was first built ... just a platform with an adjoining bell tower ... the bell was first used to ring out the celebration of my parent's wedding.

Afterwards, Grandpa would ring the bell to announce that the music was about to begin...everyone would rush to the hall to get a seat in one of the chairs that encircled the hall. Then, when the evening was over, he ring the bell for the people to go home. I remember falling asleep in back of the car, hearing the echoes of the bell as we drove away.

When Grandpa died, the bell rang for the last time ...

In Beauty,

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The Bell

Postby Lori » Mon Aug 21, 2000 5:19 am

Jackie - how beautiful... stories of life - shared routes upon a journey - amazing how deeply and differently we are touched by them. Your connection with the story really got to me... thanks for sharing it. And thanks to Van for giving us the opportunity.
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