by Fernando Pessoa
Sometimes, on days of perfect and exact lightWhen things have all the reality they can,
I ask myself slowly
Why I even attribute
Beauty to things.
Does a flower somehow have beauty?
Somehow a fruit has beauty?
No: they have color and form
And existence only.
Beauty is the name of something that doesn’t exist
I give to things in exchange for the delight they give me.
It means nothing.
Then why do I say, “Things are beautiful”?
Yes, even I, who live only to live,
Invisible, they come to meet me,
Men’s lies in the face of things,
In the face of things that simply exist.
How difficult to be yourself and see only what you can!
“Despairing of human relationships (people were so difficult), she often went into her garden and got from her flowers a peace which men and women never gave her.”
- Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
A Voice that Calms
A voice that calms, movements that calm,
eyes that quiet - dreams that also do the
same, and enliven too....
Be a precious donor of peace and hope.
Give love to all you meet,
for so many in this world are being torn
Here is one strange thing I have learned, and go on learning, and need to constantly re-learn: the way to calm is in the attempt to transmit calm (though you may think or be very aware that you haven't arrived at the state yourself). To attempt to be a precious donor of peace and hope, as Rumi says. And in this way to: enliven others.
All summer, maybe longer, I have been despairing. It seems an inevitable stance. It was out of my control. There is much to despair about. But through this despair, I've tried, and yes, at times failed, to transmit calm. Some days were less angst-filled than others, but then some piece of sad news would come, or another bill would arrive, and the future has seemed so uncertain and we forgot to count our blessings, because: despair.
And though nothing at all has changed and we watch friends and family members fight hard battles, and the bills sit on our desks, unpaid, and the news is enough to make you fall to your knees and sincerely and broken-heartedly weep every evening, suddenly, however undeserved, hope. That we will all be fine, we will make it. We will all be fine. Somehow, fine. Which is probably naive and stupid.
One evening this weekend, I went out into the backyard with Chloe, into the 'perfect and exact light' and she agreed to be a flower girl. And it seemed to make the world more beautiful and more endurable, and a very real delight.
From flowers we moved to bonsai.
And lastly, amused ourselves with books: