Not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.

Herman Hesse, Siddhartha 

Irrevocable condition

It has taken me half a lifetime and a little over 100 days to realize that this where I belong. Because I eventually had to come home.

Largo dos Leōes, Porto, April 2018

References

James Baldwin

The will to

I sing the will to love:
the will that carves the will to live,
the will that saps the will to hurt,
the will that kills the will to die;
the will that made and keeps you warm,
the will that points your eyes ahead,
the will that makes you give, not get,
a give and get that tell us what you are:
how much a god, how much a human.
I call on you to live the will to love.

CredoAlfred Kreymborg

 

Photo, Campo dos Mártires da Pátria (Porto, May 2018)

Early in the morning

Hoje de manhã saí muito cedo,

Hoje de manhã saí muito cedo,

Por ter acordado ainda mais cedo

E não ter nada que quisesse fazer…

 

Não sabia por caminho tomar

Mas o vento soprava forte, varria para um lado,

E segui o caminho para onde o vento me soprava nas costas.

 

Assim tem sido sempre a minha vida, e

Assim quero que possa ser sempre —

Vou onde o vento me leva e não me

Sinto pensar.

13-6-1930

“Poemas Inconjuntos”. In Poemas de Alberto Caeiro. Fernando Pessoa.

I went out very early in the morning today
Because I woke up even earlier
And there was nothing I wanted to do…

I didn’t know which road to take
But the wind rose strong, sweeping up from one side,
And I followed the road where the wind pushed at my back.

That’s how my life has always been, and
That’s how I’d like to be able to have it always be —
I go where the wind leads me
And don’t feel like thinking.

Translation here 

Photo: Afurada on a perfect Saturday morning

Welcome song

Here’s your Mom, here’s your Dad.
Welcome to being their flesh and blood.
Why do you look so sad?

Here’s your food, here’s your drink.
Also some thoughts, if you care to think.
Welcome to everything.

Here’s your practically clean slate.
Welcome to it, though it’s kind of late.
Welcome at any rate.

Here’s your paycheck, here’s your rent.
Money is nature’s fifth element.
Welcome to every cent.

Here’s your swarm and your huge beehive.
Welcome to that there’s roughly five
billion like you alive.

Welcome to the phone book that stars your name
Digits are democracy’s secret aim.
Welcome to your claim to fame.

Here’s your marriage, and here’s divorce.
Now that’s the order you can’t reverse.
Welcome to it; up yours.

Here’s your blade, here’s your wrist.
Welcome to playing your own terrorist;
call this your Middle East.

Here’s your mirror, your dental gleam.
Here’s an octopus in your dream.
Why do you try to scream?

Here’s your corn-cob, your TV set.
Your candidate suffering an upset.
Welcome to what he said.

Here’s your porch, see the cars pass by.
Here’s your shitting dog’s guilty eye.
Welcome to its alibi.

Here are your cicadas, then a chickadee,
the bulb’s dry tear in your lemon tea.
Welcome to infinity.

Here are your pills on the plastic tray,
Your disappointing, crisp X-ray.
You are welcome to pray.

Here’s your cemetery, a well kept glen.
Welcome to a voice that says, “Amen.”
The end of the rope, old man.

Here’s your will, and here’s a few
takers. Here’s an empty pew.
Here’s life after you.

And here are your stars which appear still keen
on shining as though you had never been.
They might have a point, old bean.

Here’s your afterlife, with no trace
of you, especially of your face.
Welcome, and call it space.

Welcome to where one cannot breathe.
This way, space resembles what’s underneath
and Saturn holds the wreath.

Joseph Brodsky

 

Enjoying Porto’s sunsets and making Monday’s poetry late again.

 

 

even though it isn’t mine

IMG_20180113_102833.jpg

even though I feel at home in most places I travel to, even though I can’t wait to leave, even though it now looks mostly as a theme park, I sometimes can’t help but feel that Porto  belongs to me because I belong to it.

References 

Truman Capote

Out of step

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
 
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.
 
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1874)
Photo taken at Black Mamba – Burgers & Records, a very cool vegan burger place in Porto

No wrong notes

piano

The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes – ah, that is where the art resides. Artur Schnabel

 

References:

“The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

Photo: Vintage market at Armazém, Porto, November 18, 2017

 

Soap bubble filter

And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Experimental

Porto through a different filter

Perspectives

nothing can better cure the anthropocentrism that is the author of all our ills than to cast ourselves into the physics of the infinitely large (or the infinitely small). By reading any text of popular science we quickly regain the sense of the absurd, but this time it is a sentiment that can be held in our hands, born of tangible, demonstrable, almost consoling things. We no longer believe because it is absurd: it is absurd because we must believe.
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Scale (ing) down Porto