On the Grace of Perspective


 

(HIMALAYAS, Everest) If one could look so distantly indeed. (Photo taken by the author.)

(HIMALAYAS, Everest) If one could look as distantly indeed. (Photo taken by the author.)

LOVE
By Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills—
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

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On the Pleasures of Oliver (Part 5)


Because, really, it took me this long to come to this point 🙂

THE JOURNEY
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

On the Pleasures of Benedetti (Part 3)


PASTIME
By Mario Benedetti
Translated by John Hemingway

When we were very young
old people were thirty
a puddle was an ocean
death, smooth and plain
didn’t exist.

Later as children
old people were forty
a pond was an ocean
death but
a word.

Already when we married
the elderly were fifty
a lake was an ocean
and death was the death
of others.

Now as old hands
we are within reach of the truth
the ocean is finally the ocean
but death has started to resemble
our own.

On the Pleasures of Benedetti (Part 2)


LITTLE STONES AT MY WINDOW
By Mario Benedetti
Translated by Charles Hatfield

Once in a while
joy throws little stones at my window
it wants to let me know that it’s waiting for me
but today I’m calm
I’d almost say even-tempered
I’m going to keep anxiety locked up
and then lie flat on my back
which is an elegant and comfortable position
for receiving and believing news

who knows where I’ll be next
or when my story will be taken into account
who knows what advice I still might come up with
and what easy way out I’ll take not to follow it

don’t worry, I won’t gamble with an eviction
I won’t tattoo remembering with forgetting
there are many things left to say and suppress
and many grapes left to fill our mouths

don’t worry, I’m convinced
joy doesn’t need to throw any more little stones
I’m coming
I’m coming.

On the Pleasures of Benedetti (Part 1)


DON’T GIVE UP
BY Mario Benedetti

Don’t give up, you still have time
to reach up and start anew,
Accept your shadows,
Bury your fears,
Free your burdens,
Fly again.

Don’t give up, that’s what life is
Continue the journey,
Follow your dreams,
Unstuck time,
Move the rubble,
And uncover the sky.

Don’t give up, please don’t give way,
Even if the cold burns,
Even if fear bites,
Even if the sun sets,
And the wind goes silent,
There is still fire in your soul
 There is still life in your dreams.

Because life is yours and yours is the desire
Because you have loved it and because I love you
Because wine exists and love is true.
Because there are no wounds that time doesn’t cure.

To open the doors,
Take away the locks,
Abandon the walls that have protected you,
 To live life and accept the challengeGet back laughter,
Practice a song,
Lower the guard and extend the hands
Open the wings
And try again,
Celebrate life and take back the skies.

Don’t give up, please don’t give way,
Even if the cold burns,
Even if fear bites,
Even if the sun sets,
And the wind goes silent,
There is still fire in your soul
 There is still life in your dreams.

Because every day is a new beginning,
Because this is the hour and the best moment.
Because you are not alone, because I love you.

On the Pleasures of Lysne (Part 2)


MORE THAN MUNDANE
By Robin Heerens Lysne

If the mundane is
—all there is—
then I cannot ask the big questions.
The one about meaning or
What are we here for? or
Where do I go when I die?
 If everything is sacred,
surprising,
then you are fine
the way you are,
I can do this strange dance
 though it may not be how I planned it,
and I learned, everyday that
we become
a
discovery.

On the Pleasures of Lysne (Part 1)


FIRST STEP
By Robin Heerens Lysne

Beginnings
are sometimes foggy.
The path is not always clear.
The end of one begets another.
To begin, put one foot
in front of the other.
Your foot knows where to land,
the one that moves forward first.
Forget about the best foot.

Just put it out there.
Stop traffic if you have to.
Go home if that is where it leads you.
Go back to work
if that is where your foot falls.

You don’t have to
go anywhere
Just rest.
After you step,
take another.
Forget about the weather.
Step
Step again.