Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2019


A friend sent me this poem by Mario de Andrade. It is clearly a poor translation, but it is lovely still, and I feel myself agreeing with the sentiment--until I don't. MY SOUL HAS A HAT I counted my years and realized that I have Less time to live by, Than I have lived so far. I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure But when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely. I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures & internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done. I no longer have the patience To stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up. My time is too short: I want the essence, my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy In the package anymore. I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know How to laugh at their mistakes, Who are not inflated by their own triumphs &


This is how the book I'm reading begins: Sometime, somewhere, between Africa and Hindustan, lay a river so Jewish it observed the Sabbath. According to the ninth-century traveller Eldad the Danite, for six days of the week the Sambatyon pushed a heavy load of rocks along its sandy course. On the seventh day, like the Creator of the universe, the river rested. Having caught my breath, for who could not be breathless at such beauty, I begin to wonder: Is this who we are, every one of us a Sambatyon, a Sysyphean river, or a tribe of one lost on the other side, and at the same time the dividing line between this and that. Caught in a paradox: on the day on which the river ceases to flow and the rocks are like stepping stones, we may not cross; and on the days we may cross, it rages and threatens to kill anyone who steps into it. This is Kafka long before Kafka. But Kafka is a jackdaw. A jackdaw can cross; you and I cannot. We go to work, we carry the stones and we are trapped.