Friday, 2 December 2016

found and lost in an instant

It happened one day, at a crossroads, in the middle of a crowd, people coming and going.
I stopped, blinked: suddenly I understood nothing. Nothing, nothing about anything: I did not understand the reasons for things or for people, it was all senseless, absurd. I laughed.
What I found strange at the time was that I had never realized before; that up until then I had accepted everything: traffic lights, cars, posters, uniforms, monuments, things completely detached from any sense of the world, accepted them as if there were some necessity, some chain of cause and effect that bound them together.

Then my laugh died. I blushed, ashamed. I waved to get people’s attention. “Stop a moment!” I shouted, “there is something wrong! Everything is wrong! We are doing the absurdest things. This cannot be the right way. Where can it end?”
People stopped around me, sized me up, curious. I stood there in the middle of them, waving my arms, desperate to explain myself, to have them share the flash of insight that had suddenly enlightened me: and I said nothing. I said nothing because the moment I had raised my arms and opened my mouth, my great revelation had been as it were swallowed up again and the words had come out any old how, on impulse.

“So?” people asked, “what do you mean? Everything is in its place. All is as it should be. Everything is a result of something else. Everything fits in with everything else. We cannot see anything wrong or absurd.” I stood there, lost, because as I saw it now everything had fallen into place again and everything seemed normal, traffic lights, monuments, uniforms, tower blocks, tramlines, beggars, processions; yet this did not calm me, it tormented me.
“I am sorry,” I said. “Perhaps it was I who was wrong. It seemed that way then. But everything is fine now. I am sorry.” And I made off amid their angry glares.

Yet, even now, every time (and it is often) that I find I do not understand something, then, instinctively, I am filled with the hope that perhaps this will be my moment again, perhaps once again I shall understand nothing, I shall grasp the other knowledge, found and lost in an instant.

(The Flash - Italo Calvino)

Sunday, 26 June 2016

come healing

Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace

O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

O see the darkness yielding
That tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason
Come healing of the heart

(Leonard Cohen)


Friday, 5 February 2016

sitting in quietude

Winter has a message of its own
When the cold is like a flower-
Flowers have their fragrance, winter has its handful of memories.
The shadow of withered branch, like lean blue smoke,
Paints a stroke across the afternoon window.
In the cold the sunlight grows pale and slanted.
It is just like this.
I sip the tea quietly
As if waiting for a guest to speak.

Li Jinfa

Monday, 25 January 2016


Easy is what we must be — 

holding and taking, holding and letting go.


Friday, 22 January 2016

without the body

Otherwise, it would not matter
that my fingertips

start just under your ear
and move with impossible

luxury, almost undetectable touch,
down the side of the breathing

throat, over the collarbone
and the supreme smooth paleness

of the shoulder,
down the inside of your arm,

finding the slight blue veins
of the wrist, and lingering

long in the palm.
Without the body,

why would i want
the gesture to consume a thousand years?

Without the body, where
would memory knot

us to the world?

from Sense (James Owens)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

in this almost

Oblique life? 

I am well aware that there is a slight detachment between things, they almost collide, there is a detachment among the beings that lose one other amongst words that almost don’t say anything more. 

But we almost understand one other in this light discord, in this almost that is the only way to stand full life, since a sudden face-to-face encounter with it would frighten us, scare off its delicate spider’s web threads.

(Clarice Lispector)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

the act of surrender

but if i hope to understand in order to accept things— the act of surrender will never happen

(Clarice Lispector)