Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Within and Without.

Because sleep did not serve its purpose last night, I sought refuge in our old shelf. I looked at what was left there. My old books in order: Twain, Maugham, Wilde, Baker, Gogol, Sartre, Kafka, Miller, Austen, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Walker .. side by side with Japanese dictionaries, Spanish - English books, Dansk-Engelsk, Engelsk-Dansk, and my old, old Thesaurus.

I did not pick out any one of them. Instead, I stared blankly at a pocketbook of short stories. I freed it out from the dusty shelf. I started reading in random.

Knut Hamsun's "The Call of Life" about a young man wandering on the dark streets of Copenhagen where he met and made out with a woman who had just been widowed. 
"A man marries. His wife is thirty years younger than he. He contracts a lingering illness. One fair day he dies. And the young widow breathes a sigh of relief"
Ivan Bunin's "Sunstroke" about a fleeting romantic encounter of a lieutenant and a married woman on a ship.
"The breeze had died down, the room was stuffy and dry, as in a wind furnace... And he remembered yesterday and this morning precisely as if they had been ten years ago."
Johannes V. Jensen's "Lost Forests" about the relationship between the owner and his slave who sought freedom in the forest. 
"In such wise the slave's spirit was deepened. As his longing brought infinity into time, so his world became infinite, and his thoughts boundless. Every evening the slave  stared thoughtfully into the distant west, and each sunset brought more and more depth into his soul."
Then there's Herman Hesse. Oh yes, how could I forget. After many years, I reread one of my favorite stories: "Within and Without"
"There, in Erwin's beautiful script, he read the words: 'Nothing is without, nothing is within; for what is without is within'."
That  phrase caught me anew. Nothing is without, nothing is within; for what is without is within. I lingered at my favorite line, repeating it over and over. Finally, I acquired new understanding of the phrase which I found in the words of the character named Frederick:
"'Take this with you as my parting gift. When this thing that I am now placing in your hands ceases to be outside you and is within you, come to me again! If it remains outside you, the way it is now, then this parting of yours from me shall also be done forever!'" 
It was Hesse who once said, "There is no reality except the one contained within us". Very true. My life is my reality. What I am searching for is already within me.  I tried to alter that once... failed as I might... and as fleeting as it was...  within and without ---

there's love, I carry on.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Today @ Breakfast.

Poetry for breakfast and I'm full already -- in mind, in heart, and in consciousness. I'm just gonna post some of my favorite  poems. I read them again this morning -- like food, I devoured words. 
I thought that, before I leave Tagum, I should ponder upon my quest in life. I have to feed my soul with thoughts and constantly be reminded what my journey is for.

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy & wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

A Thing Of Beauty
by: John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Love One Another
by: Khalil Gibran 

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow

by: e e Cummings

If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn't a lie,
    Life would be delight,-
    But things couldn't go right    
    For in such a sad plight
I wouldn't be I.

If earth was heaven, and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
    There might be some sense    
    But I'd be in suspense
    For on such a pretense
You wouldn't be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
    Things would seem fair,-
    Yet they'd all despair,
    For if here was there
We wouldn't be we.
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