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* I have a rendezvous with Death – Alan Seeger

Alan_Seeger

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ‘twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear…
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

*Poem by Alan Seeger

 

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Words that inspire: I’m helping to build a cathedral

sketch-to-the-portrait-of-a-builder

It surprises me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice.

….

Three guys laying bricks are asked why they’re doing it. The first guy says, “I’m doing it for the wages.” The second guy says, “I’m doing it to support my family.” The third guy says: “I’m helping to build a cathedral.”

….

Put your dream in a lockbox, go out and make Fuck You money, then come back to the lockbox and pick up where you left off. I met plenty who tried, but none who succeeded.

….

Seek out that at which you might fail. And just keep going. Take more risk. Plow ahead.

….

Is it better to succeed at something you don’t really believe in, or is it better to fail at something you really do believe in?

Our fears should be attacked, not run from. From our deepest wounds come our greatest gifts.

The things we really want to do are usually the ones that scare us the most.

Usually, all we get is a glimmer. A story we read or someone we briefly met. A curiosity. A meek voice inside, whispering. It’s up to us to hammer out the rest.

 

*Quotations above are taken from Po Bronson’s “What should I do with my life?”

** Painting “Sketch to the portrait of a builder” by Kazimir Malevich

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Scared. Frightened. And not afraid.

scarecrow-1959-1

Scared. Frightened. And not afraid.

Involved. Immersed. And not drowning.

Bitter. Sad. And not depressed.

Enraged. Annoyed. And not angry.

Unseeing. Eyeless. And not blind.

Ill. Impaired. And not sick.

Useless. Vain. And not futile.

Mute. Speechless. And not silent.

Demolished. Crushed. And not broken.

Far. Gone. And not away.

*Painting – Scarecrow by Candido Portinari (1959)

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Not nibbled by mosquitoes

lion-licking-its-paw-1886

Not nibbled by mosquitoes
but killed by a lion.
A mountain in the meadows,
not nibbled by mosquitoes.
Light touching, throwing shadows.
Breath – longer than an aeon.
Not nibbled by mosquitoes
but killed by a lion.

 

*Painting “Lion Licking Its Paw” by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1886.

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Not even for nothing*

leclezio4460

Triumph of pain – treachery of the eyes, the ears, the skin. One has to trudge through this desert all one’s life. To see and to hear. To hear and see. To eat. To laugh. To talk, smoke, drink. To feel. To procreate. To write. To breathe. To be in pain. To bleed, to tremble. To be angry. To suffer. To cry out, to sleep, to wait. Fatigue is everywhere. There is no way, really no way of avoiding it. One has to toil, to feel hot, to feel cold. To caress. To enjoy. To understand, to understand without pause. Every day. Like that, every day, without exception. To urinate. To taste. To let oneself be carried away by useless words. To adopt paces and habits. To seek for phrases, to stretch one’s ears and eyes, to stretch one’s skin. To pretend to love, to love really, perhaps. All that, not even for nothing; for it’s not even possible to resort to nothingness so as to determine one’s life; man is not alone; vulgar, garish things inhabit him, shape him. There’s no way of judging. There is no absurdity, for there is not even any separation between what is and what ought to be. God, if he exists, must be left in full control: never, no, never, shall we really know what a little worm man is.

*The text above is taken from the story “A day of old age” written by J.M.G. Le Clezio.

 

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You pass me by

harlequinade-1911.jpg!Large

I walk the street. You pass me by.
Our eyes meet. You pass me by.
We laugh, we smile.You pass me by.
And all this while you pass me by.

Seconds run and pass me by.
One by one. They pass me by.
Silently they pass me by.
For what, I ask, they pass me by?

Stop, I beg, don’t pass me by.
Walk nearby, don’t pass me by.
Unknowingly you pass me by.
Why do you always pass me by?

Let us rest and pass me by.
Be my guest and pass me by.
Bravely go and pass me by.
Don’t look back and pass me by.

 

*Painting “Harlequinade” by Albert Bloch, 1911.

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Goodnight I say to you, my morning

 

wc-caspardavidfriedrich-der-morgen

Goodnight I say to you, my morning.
How was your day, I greet the night.
In this life, what’s worth exploring?
Is there something worth a fight?

Goodnight I say to you, my sunshine.
How was your day, I greet the gloom.
Close to my lips I hold a glass of wine
and sip it slowly till I reach my tomb.

Goodnight I say to you, my sunrise.
How was your life, I greet the dead.
Ignore the ground, ignore the skies,
what matters most is in your head.

Goodnight I say to you, my summer.
How was the snow, I greet the spring.
My piercing eyes fell into a slumber.
I cannot see clearly any thing.

Good morning I say to you, my late hour.
How was your night, I greet the day.
On nonsense I’ve spent my time and power,
while hoping to prolong this decay.

 

*Painting “Morning” by Caspar David Friedrich.

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