Friday, September 2, 2011

Dag Hammarskjöld's Markings

Just a few days ago, I discovered Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961).  Since then, I've been perusing through his book of thoughts, prayers, and poetry and loving it. It's going to be no fun trying to un-dog-ear every single page before taking it back to the library (a sure sign that eventually I will probably buy this book).

I thought, perhaps I will go through and blog a little something from each page that I dog-earred. But that would be a really long post, and I fear no one would read the whole thing. So instead, I will post a few quotes over the course of many posts (also, I've been dying to try the "schedule" feature listed under "post settings" to see if I could type this all today, but have it post over the course of the next week or so. Imagine that. A week's worth of blogging all in one sitting! Could be revolutionary.).

Anyway. Some of his stuff is sort of depressing, but not all of it is! And some of it is spot. on. Others I am still thinking about.


1. (From the forward about Hammarskjöld) In addition to the success which his talents and industry win for him, his life, to the outward eye, is exceptionally fortunate. He has never known poverty, he enjoys excellent health, and, as a citizen of a neutral country, he is spared the privations, sufferings, and horrors inflicted by the war upon the majority of people in Europe. Inwardly, however, in spite of all these advantages -- in part, perhaps, because of them -- there is great spiritual distress. (Page xiv)

2. (From the forward again) Further, though endowed with many brilliant gifts, not, I think, a genius, not, that is to say, a person with a single overwhelming talent and passion for some particular activity -- be it poetry or physics or bird-watching -- which determines, usually early in life, exactly what his function on earth is to be. (xiv)

3. Isn't the void which surrounds you when the noise ceases your just reward for a day devoted to preventing others from neglecting you? (12)

4.  How can you expect to keep your powers of hearing when you never want to listen? That God should have time for you, you seem to take as much for granted as that you cannot have time for him. (12)

5. If you don't speak ill of others more often than you do, this certainly isn't from any lack of desire. But you know that malice only gives you elbowroom when dispensed in carefully measured doses. (15)

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