Thursday, April 17, 2014

Divination: 467

After a long, long time, I returned to Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet to...I don't know what to call it. Divination? To quiet my disquieted mind? Tell me what I'm thinking?

The books that had replaced Disquiet just wouldn't do. So I sat with this book and strummed it until I ordered my thumb to stop. It opened at 467 (well - technically, I could also have read 466 or 468 but my eyes fell on 467, so there I was) and this is what Pessoa said to me:
He listened to me read my verses – which I read well that day, for I was relaxed – and said to me with the simplicity of a natural law: ‘If you could always be like that but with a different face, you’d be a charmer.’ The word ‘face’ – more than what it referred to – yanked me out of myself by the collar of my self-ignorance. I looked at the mirror in my room and saw the poor, pathetic face of an unpoor beggar; and then the mirror turned away, and the spectre of the Rua dos Douradores opened up before me like a postman’s nirvana.
The acuity of my sensations is like a disease that’s foreign to me. It afflicts someone else, of whom I’m just the sick part, for I’m convinced that I must depend on some greater capacity for feeling. I’m like a special tissue, or a mere cell, that bears the brunt of responsibility for an entire organism.
When I think, it’s because I’m drifting; when I dream, it’s because I’m awake. Everything I am is tangled up in myself, such that no part of me knows how to be.
'No part of me knows how to be' sounds about right for the moment.



david jairaj said...

the forbidden experience of breaking a logical sequence :-) yes, the random page does speak with much greater insight. like the unforgettable lessons learnt while playing truant!

km said...

You always post these great excerpts. Now I want to read this book, if only to understand what the hell "postman's nirvana" could mean.