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

Running aimlessly

I am not, nor have I ever been a focused person. My attention is always distracted by some real or imagined connection or possibility. This obviously means that I’m the least efficient person I know. I get things done when they need to get done because I do not like to disappoint those who depend on me getting things done and because I procrastinate until I really have no other option. But, in general, inspirational quotes and sayings on how “things will happen if you stay focused” do not resonate with me. Staying focused will not make everything happen. Or, maybe it will, I just haven’t tried it.

I am not even one of those “existentialist pessimists” who thinks that all hope is an illusion. No, I do cling to hope and believe things will get better. If I just wait. They don’t. They haven’t.

You are only excused for happiness and success if you generously agree to share them. But if one is to be happy, one should not worry too much about other people – which means there is no way out. Happy and judged or absolved and miserable.

Albert Camus, The Fall

And now that I realize this and that this certainty seems to occupy my mind whenever I’m awake and sometimes even in my sleep, I can’t keep on waiting because it would be absurd. Although I should, by now, be way past the age of existential crisis, it does appear that sometimes it takes too long to build up the courage to become who you are and own the mistakes you have made while trying to convince yourself that you were different.

No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!

Friedrich Nietzsche, Schopenhauer as Educator

Trying to stay focused on being ” my own story” seems to be hard enough at this point but it’s better than waiting or just refusing to see what went wrong.

Getting started, keeping going, getting started again — in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival, the ground of convinced action, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourselves as well as to others.

Seamus Heaney

Photo: Words on Walls, Lisbon, September 2017 ( Running aimlessly is to wait in movement)

I am not done with my changes

bty

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

 

 

References

Stanley Kunitz, “The Layers” The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz. Copyright © 1978

 

Photo: Braga getting into Noites Brancas, September 2017

a song with no end

when Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric”

I know what he
meant
I know what he
wanted:

to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.

we can’t cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take
us

it will have known a victory just as
perfect as
ours.

Charles Bukowski

A song with no end

Photo CPF (September 16, 2017). This was the last place, the exact last room where I saw O. for the last time. I don’t know if he liked Bukowski. I hope he did because I seem to be having a Bukowski moment and this poem made me think of him.

caught alive together

I like to prowl ordinary places.
I feel sorry for us all or glad for us
all
caught alive together
and awkward in that way.

there’s nothing better than the joke
of us
the seriousness of us
the dullness of us

Charles Bukowski

Photo Calle Sta. Eulália, Mérida

Neither map nor discipline

To help us seek duende there is neither map nor discipline. All one knows is that it burns the blood like powdered glass, that it exhausts, that it rejects all the sweet geometry one has learned, that it breaks with all styles.

Federico Garcia Lorca

From Theory and Play ( Function ) of the Duende

Para buscar al duende no hay mapa ni ejercicio. Solo se sabe que quema la sangre como un tópico de vidrios, que agota, que rechaza toda la dulce geometría aprendida, que rompe los estilos…

Federico Garcia Lorca

Teoria y juego del duende

It makes me realize that I will most probably not find it. I just pretend.

Photo by C.

No one thinks he’s going to die in the mirror. But sometimes it happens.

Narcissus

Once I was half flower, half self,

That invisible self whose absence inhabits mirrors,

That invisible flower that is always inwardly,

Groping up through us, a kind of outswelling weakness,

Yes once I was half frail, half glittering,

Continually emerging from the store of the self itself,

Always staring at rivers, always

Nodding and leaning to one side, I came gloating up,

And for a while I was half skin half breath,

For a while I was neither one thing nor another,

A waterflame, a variable man-woman of the verges,

Wearing the last self-image I was left with

Before my strenth went down down into the darkness

For the best of the year and lies crumpled

In a clot of sleep at the root of nothings all

Alice Oswald

Post inspired by Eduardo Lourenço’s interview (in Portuguese)

Photo: Me, myself and I by F.M.

It’s only human

Our century is so shallow, its desires scattered so widely, our knowledge so encyclopedic, that we are absolutely unable to focus our designs on any single object and hence, willy-nilly, we fragment all our works into trivia and charming toys. We have the marvellous gift of making everything insignificant.

Nikolai Gogol (1809 – 1852)

Shallow