Saturday, May 27
link


A Page of The Night Book
I stepped ashore one May night
in the cool moonshine
where grass and flowers were grey
but the scent green.

I glided up the slope
in the colour-blind night
while white stones
signaled to the moon.

A period of time
a few minutes long
fifty-eight years wide.

And behind me
beyond the lead-shimmering waters
was the other shore
and those who ruled.

People with a future
instead of a face.
 - Tomas Tranströmer
translated by Robin Fulton



Friday, May 26
link


"The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight."
 - John Berger
Ways of Seeing
memory's landscape



Thursday, May 25
link


Morning Birds
I waken the car
whose windscreen is coated with pollen.
I put on my sunglasses.
The birdsong darkens.

Meanwhile another man buys a paper
at the railway station
close to a large goods wagon
which is all red with rust
and stands flickering in the sun.

No blank space anywhere here.

Straight through the spring warmth a cold corridor
where someone comes running
and tells how up at head office
they slandered him.

Through a back door in the landscape
comes the magpie
black and white.
And the blackbird darting to and fro
till everything becomes a charcoal drawing,
except the white clothes on the washing-line:
a palestrina chorus.

No blank space anywhere here.

Fantastic to feel how my poem grows
while I myself shrink.
It grows, it takes my place.
It pushes me aside.
It throws me out of the nest.
The poem is ready.
 - Tomas Tranströmer
translated by Robin Fulton



Tuesday, May 23
link


"Living is moving; time is a live creek bearing changing lights. As I move, or as the world moves around me, the fullness of what I see shatters. "Last forever!" Who hasn't prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying; it is a canvas, nevertheless.

But there is more to the present than a series of snapshots. We are not merely sensitized film; we have feelings, a memory for information and an eidetic memory for the imagery of our pasts.

Our layered consciousness is a tiered track for an unmatched assortment of concentrically wound reels. Each one plays out for all of life its dazzle and blur of translucent shadow-pictures; each one hums at every moment its own secret melody in its own unique key. We tune in and out. But moments are not lost. Time out of mind is time nevertheless, cumulative, informing the present. From even the deepest slumber you wake with a jolt - older, closer to death, and wiser, grateful for breath.

But time is the one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can't recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees."
 - Annie Dillard



Monday, May 22
link


"The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older. Childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we're dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.

Time is this rubbery thing. It stretches out when you really turn your brain resources on, and when you say, 'Oh, I got this, everything is as expected,' it shrinks up."
 - David Eagleman



Sunday, May 21
link


"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
 - G. K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy



Saturday, May 20
link


"It starts out young - you try not to be different just to survive - you try to be just like everyone else - anonymity becomes reflexive - and then one day you wake up and you've become all those other people - the others - the something you aren't. And you wonder if you can ever be what it is you really are. Or you wonder if it's too late to find out."
  - Douglas Coupland









  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov