Day 5/30 - miniature machinations of the mind

Are you feeling extremely lazy today? Maybe it is the weather. Maybe it is the “excitement” of the last couple of weeks watching COVID numbers climb; anticipating changes; prepping work, people and life for what may come; listening to a world of bombings as well as post-lockdown cinema queues...: being on edge. And on a grey quiet Saturday, the mind and body seeks and calls for rest - yet addicted perhaps to excitement, desires that bite of vinegar, that taste of honey, that salty kick of being alive. 

And so I leave you a bonus today, not one but two poems! 

Both poets lived in different times and continents. But both poems are about that fuzzy space between a life of action and thought, between living and dreaming (or death), between knowing and wanting. This in-betweenness of human consciousness creates some angst. But only for a while. Because both poets, I think, by looking on these tiny fragile creatures, finds that it is best to simply be - and in being, one is free.

The Fly
By William Blake (1757-1827)

Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush’s away.
Am I not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance
And drink and sing
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life
And strength & breath
And the want
Of thought is death;
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

By Octavio Paz (1914-1998)

A butterfly flew between the cars
Marie Jose said: it must be Chuang Tzu,
on a tour of New York.

                             But the butterfly
didn’t know it was a butterfly
dreaming it was Chuang Tzu
                                            or Chuang Tzu
dreaming he was a butterfly.
The butterfly never wondered:
                                               It flew.

(translated by Eliot Weinberger)


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