Τρίτη, 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

*On Joy and Sorrow*



Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow" and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)



Σάββατο, 3 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

..to you..



Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands..
Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners,
troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you..
Your true soul and body appear before me.
They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops, work,
farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating, drinking,
suffering, dying.
Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem,
I whisper with my lips close to your ear.
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.

O, I have been dilatory and dumb,
I should have made my way straight to you long ago,
I should have blabb'd nothing but you,
I should have chanted
nothing but you.

I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you..
None has understood you, but I understand you..
None has done justice to you, you have not done justice to yourself..
None but has found you imperfect, I only find no imperfection in you..
None but would subordinate you, I only am he who will never consent
to subordinate you..
I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God,
beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself.

Painters have painted their swarming groups and the centre-figure of all,
from the head of the centre-figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color'd light.
But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color'd light.
From my hand from the brain of every man and woman it streams,
effulgently flowing forever.

O, I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you!
You have not known what you are, you have slumber'd upon yourself all your life..
Your eyelids have been the same as closed most of the time.
What you have done returns already in mockeries.

(Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in
mockeries, what is their return?)

The mockeries are not you,
underneath them and within them I see you lurk..

I pursue you where none else has pursued you.
Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom'd routine,
if these conceal you from others or from yourself,
they do not conceal you from me.

The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others,
they do not balk me.
The pert apparel, the deform'd attitude, drunkenness, greed,
premature death, all these I part aside.


There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you,
There is no virtue, no beauty in man or woman, but as good is in you,
No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you,
No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you.

As for me, I give nothing to any one
except I give the like carefully to you.
I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God,
sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you.

Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard!
These shows of the East and West are tame compared to you.
These immense meadows, these interminable rivers,
you are immense and interminable as they.
These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution,
you are he or she who is master or mistress over them.
Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution.

The hopples fall from your ankles, you find an unfailing sufficiency.
Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest,
whatever you are promulges itself,
through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided,
nothing is scanted.
Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui,
what you are picks its way.


Walt Whitman (1819–1892)