Monday, December 22, 2014

on a star

But We Live - 

by Rolf Jacobsen

- But we live
through supermarkets and racks full of cheese, and we live
under the vapour trails of jets in the golden month of May
and in smoke-dimmed cities,
and we live with coughing carburetors and slamming car doors.
We live
through the TV-evening in our golden century,
on asphalt, behind tabloids and at gas stations.
We live
as statistics and as registration numbers in election years.
We live with a flower in the window,
in spite of everything we live under
hydrogen bombs the threats
of nuclear extermination, sleep-
less we live
side by side with the hungry who
die by the millions, live
with a weariness to our thoughts, live
still, live
magically inexplicably live,
on a star.

{from The Roads Have Come to an End Now, translated by Robert Hedin}

You wouldn't think it would be a comfort - this thought that we live on a star. But it is.

We live, as Jacobsen says, with a flower in the window.

We live in winter when the frost turns branches into magic wands.

"I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing."

- T.S. Eliot, from East Coker in Four Quartets 

“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life.”

- T.S. Eliot, from The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism

May your soul be still this season. May you contemplate beautiful things, with courage, with hope.

And may you experience 'hygge' as the Danish call it, and which is described here.

I'll be signing off for a week or so, and am wishing you all the calmest, loveliest things in the coming days.

See you back here soon.


  1. All of our snow has melted so it was wonderful seeing your frosty photos. We'll be getting snow just in time for the holidays. I love the concept of "hygge!" I got really sick the other day and that slowed me down which was perfect for beginning the holiday season with a focus on relaxation, warmth and love. Hope you have a great week off and a wonderful start to the new year!!!!

    1. Thanks for the note Manisha! Enjoy the snow and your holiday! All the best to you!

  2. Hygge is my new favourite word and my also my new year's resolution. I wish that for you and your family.

  3. and the same to you dear Shawna.
    Just in case you have not yet heard this Ted talk here it is. something forever.
    in stillness, Jacqueline xx


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