The Threshold

Open the door to us, and we will see the orchards,

We will drink their cold water where the moon

has left its trace.

The long road burns, hostile to strangers.

We wander without knowing and find no place.


We want to see flowers.  Here thirst grips us.

Waiting and suffering, we are here before the door.

If we must, we will break this door with our fists.

We press and push, but the barrier still holds.


One must weaken, must wait and look vainly.

We look at the door: it is closed, unbreachable.

We fix our eyes there; we weep under the torment;

We see it always; the weight of time crushes us.


Before us is the door; what use for us to wish?

Better to turn away, abandoning hope.

We will never enter.  We are weary of seeing it . . .

The door, opening, let so much silence escape.


That neither the orchards appeared nor any flower;

Only the immense space where emptiness and

light are

Was suddenly everywhere present, overflowed

the heart,

And washed our eyes almost blind under the dust.


Simone Weil