A silence of no movement and almost no breath


“A silence of no movement and almost no breath” – The Man in the Woods by Shirley Jackson

5 thoughts on “A silence of no movement and almost no breath

  1. I like this photograph.

    It reminds me of old crocodiles lying sunning themselves in almost stone-like mobility….or also some of the creases in the skin of elephants. A sense that each wrinkle – or each branch – contains a map to some unknown continent.

    But the image is great.

      1. Sleeping dinosaurs, hmmm…..I like that.

        There’s an expression in English – “Let sleeping dogs lie” – of a cautionary nature, the implication being that if you are foolish or imprudent enough to risk waking a sleeping dog, it might bite or attack you.

        The alternate title, then, of this photogaph, might be –

        ‘Let sleeping dinosaurs lie.’

        If I’m not mistaken, the Gobi desert is also known as “the land of sleeping dinosaurs”. And though technically it’s a desert, the Gobi also has some strange rock formations. Perhaps one or two thousand years ago, an ancient camel caravan traversing the Gobi got lost….and somehow wound up in what would become Germany. And they stopped at this very place where you took this photograph, and established an ancient Caravanserai, a rest stop for weary travelers…and photographers.

        Or perhaps not.

        But I want to go here/there some day. Where exactly did you take this?

        1. It’s late and I am really tired but I simply have to answer to this. it’s just … wonderful. Your story about the caravan getting lost and ending up in Germany.

          Sven Hedin was the hero of my youth and I really did manage to visit some of the places he covered in his expedition – but never the Gobi. Sigh.

          “sleeping dogs” seems to be of German origin. First mentioned in a rhyme by Hans Sachs (1494-1576) – somewhere deep into the archives into this blog there is a discussion about this in the comments section. I think. ;-)

          Exactly? Well … more or less … here:



          No English article about this but perhaps Google translate might do:


          Good night!

  2. Cool.

    Thanks, Martina.

    Btw I’m sure you must know this, but an ancient species of mammal-like reptilians (not-quite-but-almost-dinosaurs), was named in honor of Sven Hedin – the Lystrosaurus hedini. They were cute, ugly little beasts, around the size of a pig. And one even appeared in the legendary 1940’s animated film, Fantasia.

    And of course, like so many other prehistoric species, they all died out and are long gone.

    Except I can see the historical caravan in question – the one which got sidetracked from Asia Minor all the way to German, perhaps tracing out the same path that Mr. Hedin would take centuries later – I can see that, reaching this area –

    They might not only stumble upon the rocky (fossilized) forms of sleeping dinosaurs –

    But possibly also discover a secret tunnel or passageway, leading them to a hidden area or land or world – where those sleeping dinosaurs actually woke up.

    But in the moments before they awaked, there would be –

    “A silence of no movement and almost no breath”


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