Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Words by José Saramago

We use words to understand each other and
even, sometimes, to find each other.
Jose Saramago

Time by José Saramago

Every second that passes is like a door that opens to allow
in what has not yet happened, what we call the future, but,
to challenge the contradictory nature of what we have just said,
perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the future is just
an immense void, that the future is just the time on which
the eternal present feeds.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Lover's Call by Khalil Gibran

Hans Günther wagener-Summer night's dreams

A Lover's Call
Khalil Gibran

Where are you, my beloved? Are you in that little
Paradise, watering the flowers who look upon you
As infants look upon the breast of their mothers?

Or are you in your chamber where the shrine of
Virtue has been placed in your honor, and upon
Which you offer my heart and soul as sacrifice?

Or amongst the books, seeking human knowledge,
While you are replete with heavenly wisdom?

Oh companion of my soul, where are you? Are you
Praying in the temple? Or calling Nature in the
Field, haven of your dreams?

Are you in the huts of the poor, consoling the
Broken-hearted with the sweetness of your soul, and
Filling their hands with your bounty?

You are God's spirit everywhere;
You are stronger than the ages.

Do you have memory of the day we met, when the halo of
You spirit surrounded us, and the Angels of Love
Floated about, singing the praise of the soul's deed?

Do you recollect our sitting in the shade of the
Branches, sheltering ourselves from Humanity, as the ribs
Protect the divine secret of the heart from injury?

Remember you the trails and forest we walked, with hands
Joined, and our heads leaning against each other, as if
We were hiding ourselves within ourselves?

Recall you the hour I bade you farewell,
And the Maritime kiss you placed on my lips?
That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love
Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!

That kiss was introduction to a great sigh,
Like the Almighty's breath that turned earth into man.

That sigh led my way into the spiritual world,
Announcing the glory of my soul; and there
It shall perpetuate until again we meet.

I remember when you kissed me and kissed me,
With tears coursing your cheeks, and you said,
"Earthly bodies must often separate for earthly purpose,
And must live apart impelled by worldly intent.

"But the spirit remains joined safely in the hands of
Love, until death arrives and takes joined souls to God.

"Go, my beloved; Love has chosen you her delegate;
Over her, for she is Beauty who offers to her follower
The cup of the sweetness of life.
As for my own empty arms, your love shall remain my
Comforting groom; you memory, my Eternal wedding."

Where are you now, my other self? Are you awake in
The silence of the night? Let the clean breeze convey
To you my heart's every beat and affection.

Are you fondling my face in your memory? That image
Is no longer my own, for Sorrow has dropped his
Shadow on my happy countenance of the past.

Sobs have withered my eyes which reflected your beauty
And dried my lips which you sweetened with kisses.

Where are you, my beloved? Do you hear my weeping
From beyond the ocean? Do you understand my need?
Do you know the greatness of my patience?

Is there any spirit in the air capable of conveying
To you the breath of this dying youth? Is there any
Secret communication between angels that will carry to
You my complaint?

Where are you, my beautiful star? The obscurity of life
Has cast me upon its bosom; sorrow has conquered me.

Sail your smile into the air;
it will reach and enliven me!
Breathe your fragrance into the air;
it will sustain me!

Where are you, my beloved?
Oh, how great is Love!
And how little am I!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Flaw in The human character by Kurt Vonnegut

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants
to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Love is a pilgrimage by Anita Brookner

Real love is a pilgrimage.
It happens when there is no strategy,
but it is very rare because most people are strategists.
Anita Brookner

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017


Nobuyuki Tsujii: Elegy

The people/El pueblo
Pablo Neruda

I recall that man and not two centuries
have passed since I saw him,
he went neither by horse nor by carriage:
purely on foot
he outstripped
and carried no sword or armour,
only nets on his shoulder,
axe or hammer or spade,
never fighting the rest of his species:
his exploits were with water and earth,
with wheat so that it turned into bread,
with giant trees to render them wood,
with walls to open up doors,
with sand to construct the walls,
and with ocean for it to bear.

I knew him and he is still not cancelled in me.

The carriages fell to pieces,
war destroyed doors and walls,
the city was a handful of ashes,
all the clothes turned to dust,
and he remains to me,
he survives in the sand,
when everything before
seemed imperishable but him.

In the going and coming of families
at times he was my father or kinsman
or perhaps it was scarcely him or not
the one who did not return to his house
because water or earth swallowed him up
or a tree or an engine killed him,
or he was the saddened carpenter
who went behind the coffin, without tears,
someone in the end who had no name,
except those that metal or timber have,
and on whom others gazed from on high
without seeing the ant
for the anthill
and so that when his feet did not stir,
because the poor exhausted one had died,
they never saw what they had not seen:
already there were other feet where he'd been.

He was the man, no doubt of it, without heritage,
without cattle, without a flag,
and he was not distinguished from others,
the others who were him,
from the heights he was grey like the subsoil,
tanned like the leather,
he was yellow reaping the wheat,
he was black down in the mine,
he was the colour of stone on the fortress,
in the fishing boat the colour of tuna,
and the colour of horses in the meadow:
how could anyone distinguish him
if he was inseparable, elemental,
earth, coal or sea vested in man?

Where he lived whatever
a man touched grew:
the hostile stones,
by his hands,
took on order
and one by one formed
the right clarity of a building,
he made bread with his hands,
moved the engines,
the distances peopled themselves with towns,
other men grew,
bees arrived,
and by man's creating and breeding
spring walked the market squares
between bakeries and doves.

The maker of loaves was forgotten,
he who quarried and journeyed, beating down
and opening furrows, transporting sand,
when everything existed he no longer existed,
he gave his existence, that's all.
He went elsewhere to labour, and at last
he was dead, rolling
like a stone in the river:
death carried him downstream.

I, who knew him, saw him descend
till he was no longer except what he left:
roads he could scarcely know,
houses he never ever would live in.
I turn to see him, and I await him
I see him in his grave and resurrected.
I distinguish him among all
who are his equals
and it seems to me it cannot be,
that like this we go nowhere,
that to survive like this holds no glory.

I believe that this man
must be enthroned, rightly shod and crowned.
I believe that those who made such things
must be the masters of all these things.
And that those who made bread should eat!
And those in the mines must have light!

Enough now of grey men enslaved!
Enough of the pale 'missing ones'!
Not another man passes except as a king.
Not a single woman without her crown.
Golden gauntlets for every hand.
Fruits of the sun for all the unknowns!

I knew that man and when I could,
when he still had eyes in his head,
when he still had a voice in his mouth
I searched for him among tombs, and I said
grasping his arm that was not yet dust:

'All will be gone, you will live on,
You ignite life.
You made what is yours.'

So let no one trouble themselves when
I seem to be alone and am not alone,
I am with no one and speak for them all:

Some listen to me, without knowing,
but those I sing, those who do know
go on being born, and will fill up the Earth.

The original poem in spanish


De aquel hombre me acuerdo y no han pasado
sino dos siglos desde que lo vi,
no anduvo ni a caballo ni en carroza:
a puro pie
las distancias
y no llevaba espada ni armadura,
sino redes al hombro,
hacha o martillo o pala,
nunca apaleó a ninguno de su especie:
su hazaña fue contra el agua o la tierra,
contra el trigo para que hubiera pan,
contra el árbol gigante para que diera leña,
contra los muros para abrir las puertas,
contra la arena construyendo muros
y contra el mar para hacerlo parir.

Lo conocí y aún no se me borra.

Cayeron en pedazos las carrozas,
la guerra destruyó puertas y muros,
la ciudad fue un puñado de cenizas,
se hicieron polvo todos los vestidos,
y él para mí subsiste,
sobrevive en la arena,
cuando antes parecía
todo imborrable menos él.

En el ir y venir de las familias
a veces fue mi padre o mi pariente
o apenas si era él o si no era
tal vez aquel que no volvió a su casa
porque el agua o la tierra lo tragaron
o lo mató una máquina o un árbol
o fue aquel enlutado carpintero
que iba detrás del ataúd, sin lágrimas,
alguien en fin que no tenía nombre,
que se llamaba metal o madera,
y a quien miraron otros desde arriba
sin ver la hormiga
sino el hormiguero
y que cuando sus pies no se movían,
porque el pobre cansado había muerto,
no vieron nunca que no lo veían:
había ya otros pies en donde estuvo.

Los otros pies eran él mismo,
también las otras manos,
el hombre sucedía:
cuando ya parecía transcurrido
era el mismo de nuevo,
allí estaba otra vez cavando tierra,
cortando tela, pero sin camisa,
allí estaba y no estaba, como entonces
se había ido y estaba de nuevo,
y como nunca tuvo cementerio,
ni tumba, ni su nombre fue grabado
sobre la piedra que cortó sudando,
nunca sabia nadie que llegaba
y nadie supo cuando se moría,
así es que sólo cuando el pobre pudo
resucitó otra vez sin ser notado.

Era el hombre sin duda, sin herencia,
sin vaca, sin bandera,
y no se distinguía entre los otros,
los otros que eran él,
desde arriba era gris como el subsuelo,
como el cuero era pardo,
era amarillo cosechando trigo,
era negro debajo de la mina,
era color de piedra en el castillo,
en el barco pesquero era color de atún
y color de caballo en la pradera:
cómo podía nadie distinguirlo
si era el inseparable, el elemento,
tierra, carbón o mar vestido de hombre?

Donde vivió crecía
cuanto el hombre tocaba:
La piedra hostil,
por sus manos,
se convertía en orden
y una a una formaron
la recia claridad del edificio,
hizo el pan con sus manos,
movilizó los trenes,
se poblaron de pueblos las distancias,
otros hombres crecieron,
llegaron las abejas,
y porque el hombre crea y multiplica
la primavera camino al mercado
entre panaderías y palomas.

El padre de los panes fue olvidado,
él que cortó y anduvo, machacando
y abriendo surcos, acarreando arena,
cuando todo existió ya no existía,
él daba su existencia, eso era todo.
Salió a otra parte a trabajar, y luego
se fue a morir rodando
como piedra del río:
aguas abajo lo llevó la muerte.

Yo, que lo conocí, lo vi bajando
hasta no ser sino lo que dejaba:
calles que apenas pudo conocer,
casas que nunca y nunca habitaría.

Y vuelvo a verlo, y cada día espero.
Lo veo en su ataúd y resurrecto.

Lo distingo entre todos
los que son sus iguales
y me parece que no puede ser,
que así no vamos a ninguna parte,
que suceder así no tiene gloria.

Yo creo que en el trono debe estar
este hombre, bien calzado y coronado.
Creo que los que hicieron tantas cosas
deben ser dueños de todas las cosas.

Y los que hacen el pan deben comer!
Y deben tener luz los de la mina!

Basta ya de encadenados grises!
Basta de pálidos desaparecidos!
Ni un hombre más que pase sin que reine.
Ni una sola mujer sin su diadema.
Para todas las manos guantes de oro.
Frutas de sol a todos los oscuros!

Yo conocí aquel hombre y cuando pude,
cuando ya tuve ojos en la cara,
cuando ya tuve la voz en la boca
lo busqué entre las tumbas, y le dije
apretándole un brazo que aún no era polvo:

«Todos se irán, tú quedarás viviente.
Tú encendiste la vida.
Tú hiciste lo que es tuyo».

Por eso nadie se moleste cuando
parece que estoy solo y no estoy solo,
no estoy con nadie y hablo para todos:

Alguien me está escuchando y no lo saben,
pero aquellos que canto y que lo saben
siguen naciendo y llenarán el mundo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We're made of star-stuff by Carl Sagan

We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads — but
to find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both.
We will not be afraid to speculate — but we will be careful
to distinguish speculation from fact.

The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths, of
exquisite interrelationships, of the awesome machinery of nature.
The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean.
On this shore we've learned most of what we know.

Recently we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle deep, and the water
seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from.
We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us.
We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
Carl Sagan

Mysteries by Mortimer J. Adler

There are genuine mysteries in the world that mark
the limits of human knowing and thinking.

Wisdom is fortified, not destroyed,by understanding its limitations.
Ignorance does not make a fool as surely as self-deception.
Mortimer J. Adler

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Moon and Sea by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Moon and Sea
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You are the moon, dear love, and I the sea:
The tide of hope swells high within my breast,
And hides the rough dark rocks of life's unrest
When your fond eyes smile near in perigee.
But when that loving face is turned from me,
Low falls the tide, and the grim rocks appear,
And earth's dim coast-line seems a thing to fear.
You are the moon, dear one, and I the sea.

Friday, January 6, 2017

BEING ALIVE BY Martha Medeiros

Let's try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires
an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Martha Medeiros

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Be Like A Tree by Rumi

Be like a tree,
Let the dead leaves drop.


Happy is the man who can with vigorous wing
Mount to those luminous serene fields!
The man whose thoughts, like larks,
Take liberated flight toward the morning skies
--Who hovers over life and understands without effort
The language of flowers and voiceless things!

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