Borges & Daffodils

“After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.”


Jorge Luis Borges – You Learn, c.1940.
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Oskar Zwintscher – Portrait with Yellow Daffodils,1907

I thought it was time we heard a few words from a Master. I don’t think Borges is appreciated enough amongst us commoners of the Litterati. (We who know and appreciate but haven’t quite reached.) While there is much to say of him and read, today we will let it suffice with the “You Learn” above. It’s the wakeup call, the slap across the face, the grow up! Besides, I wanted to post the “Portrait with Yellow Daffodils” which I love.

UNnamed

To love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you’ve held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,

your throat filled with the silt of it.

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat

thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh

only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face

between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes,

and you say, yes, I will take you

I will love you, again. ~Ellen Bass

(Book: Mules of Love https://amzn.to/3wstyvV)

posted by Philo thoughts along with a great photo!

I really like the poem. And the sentiment. But I don’t love life, I don’t even like it. My take on it all is the exact opposite of the poem, as far as I know. Although I do love walks in the woods. With my dog. But my dog isn’t here anymore. She left me on March 13 of last year. I don’t think I posted about that but I might have. And then there’s the woods…no where near here and the drive doesn’t work. So. There you have it. And it’s only Tuesday.

Those Days

These kids.

Poor, middle class, working poor, those words didn’t mean that much some years ago. Those years ago when the world was smaller and larger both. Small was your neighborhood and the world it encompassed as in the place where you went to church, went to the store, swam in the river. In that place it was large enough but small enough to traverse the length and breath of it. And you knew it. You breathed its air and suffered its sweat and cold, but it was yours. You played in its streets and ran its alleys. The larger world, the world “out there” came from the radio and rumor. That’s where the wars were and the others who spoke different languages, and where the monsters and possibility of angels lived. There. Here it was small. And safe.

Posted by Ravenous Butterflies:

Frank Meadow Sutcliffe – Three Happy Boys, 1889.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
Audrey Hepburn

Happy New Year

“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been…”
Rainer Maria Rilke – Letter to Clara Rilke, 1 Jan 1907.

Art by Nadiya Volodymyrivna Martynenko – (Ukrainian) 🇺🇦

Posted by Ravenous Butterflies

May we all be safe from all danger

Held safe from all harm

Have physical happiness

Have mental happiness

Have spiritual happiness

And may we all have the ability to happily care for ourselves.

(From a Tibetan prayer to be said as meta on our meta beads. We say once for all, then each for our enemies, for those we care for, for our loved ones, and for those unknown. Of course meta can be said for a particular person in need.) Like all prayers, they calm and give peace to those who pray for others.

And may we all have a blessed and safe New Year. Think on it truly: Full of the unknown, and opportunities, and possibilities. Filled with hope and joy, let us go forth!

Wednesday Winks*

* I know, I know. Pretty sad but it’s all about the alliteration isn’t it?

OK then, off we go with a hope and a prayer for the days to come filled with wit and shine, not to be mistaken for Wittgenstein! See, this is why some people should be given tranquilizers. Or gummies. And yet I often wonder why we do not, in some corners of the literary world, celebrate verbal wit. Alas, likely the same corner as the lost Salons.

—It occured to me (as I checked the time on Facebook for a response) that because three o’clock is written as 1500 in military time, many things are explained about the military and the military relationship to the public. This is funny. Then it gets sad.

—Someone got caught plagiarizing The Great Gatsby for god’s sake. Now that puts stupid right at the very top of appropriate comments. You might as well claim credit for The Bible. It isn’t a matter of breaking copyright however. “Gatsby” entered the public domain in 2021. It still will be a matter of claiming credit for something you didn’t do though. Always.

Posted by Poetic Outlaws:

“The Christians stole the winter solstice from the pagans, and capitalism stole it from the Christians.”

—George Monbiot

I’m all ready for Christmas and the girls are coming Christmas Eve (oyster stew) or Christmas day (chili and chocolate chip cookies). It depends upon the weather and if the storm warnings are true. They may be true for those issuing the warnings but not likely to be true for those of us on the ground around here. If the streets are plowed it’s not going to make much of a difference.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL

And may all of your Christmas dreams come true.