“I already have you mated,” says the little hedgehog. Mecki the Hedgehog was introduced in 1949 as an advertising mascot for the radio magazine Hör Zu. In 1951, the Steiff-company first marketed Mecki as a puppet. Postcard printed in Munich.
“Let a man get up and say, ‘Behold, this is the truth,’ and instantly I perceive a sandy cat filching a piece of fish in the background. Look, you have forgotten the cat, I say.”
– Virginia Woolf in The Waves (1931)
“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.”
– George Eliot in Middlemarch (1874)
Kiyokuni and Kashiwado at the moment of impact, photographed by Otani Koukichi in his book, Sumo (1965). In the preface, translated by Masuo Yamaguchi, the author and photographer notes:
“My camera is a Nikon F. The lenses I use are F4 x 200 mm, F 2.5 x 80 mm, and F 2.5 x 105 mm. These lenses are sterilized with an infrared lamp and fatty substances on them are removed. In the old days the sword was considered as the soul of a warrior and was kept sharp and brilliant. Now the camera is the soul of the cameraman.”
“Any grove or any wood is a fine thing to see. But the magic here, strangely, is not apparent from the road. It is necessary to leave the impersonal highway, to step inside the rusty gate and close it behind. By this, an act of faith is committed, through which one accepts blindly the communion cup of beauty. One is now inside the grove, out of one world and in the mysterious heart of another. Enchantment lies in different things for each of us. For me, it is in this: to step out of the bright sunlight into the shade of orange trees; to walk under the arched canopy of their jadelike leaves; to see the long aisles of lichened trunks stretch ahead in a geometric rhythm; to feel the mystery of a seclusion that yet has shafts of light striking through it.
“This is the essence of an ancient and secret magic. It goes back, perhaps, to the fairy tales of childhood, to Hansel and Gretel, to Babes in the Wood, to Alice in Wonderland, to all half-luminous places that pleased the imagination as a child. It may go back still farther, to racial Druid memories, to an atavistic sense of safety and delight in an open forest. And after long years of spiritual homelessness, of nostalgia, here is that mystic loveliness of childhood again. Here is home. An old thread, long tangled, comes straight again.”
– Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in Cross Creek, the 1942 Charles Scribner’s Sons edition with illustrations by Edward Shenton