motto lotto

Thursday, May 19, 2011

and one to me are shame and fame


If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.
Far or forgot to me is near,
Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
And one to me are shame and fame.
They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.
From The Atlantic Monthly volume 1 No. 1 1857 (gutenberg)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

dawn in the city

I've always found the awakening of a city, whether in mists or not, more moving than sunrise in the country. There is a stronger sense of rebirth, more to look forward to; the sun, instead of merely illuminating the fields, the silhouettes of trees and the open palms of leaves with first dark then liquid light and finally with pure luminous gold, multiplies its every effect in windows, on walls, on roofs [...]. Seeing dawn in the countryside does me good, seeing dawn in the city affects me for both good and ill and therefore does me even more good. For the greater hope it brings me contains, as does all hope, the far-off, nostalgic aftertaste of unreality. Dawn in the countryside just exists; dawn in the city overflows with promise. One makes you live, the other makes you think. And along with all the other great unfortunates, I've always believed it better to think than to live.

Fernando Pessoa The Book of Disquiet