Hexagram #51 from the I Ching = Zhen
Faulkner relates the tale of one pursued:
He falls back on the resource he knows best.
In crisis, there’s no slack with which to test
New methods; Improvise? he’s in no mood!
Our instinct is to tighten up the reins
When fear, discomfort, pain or even change
Affronts us. We are apt to shun the strange,
The mystical, and trust instead our brains.
It’s harder work, and ineffective, too.
Disaster is the natural result
When we ignore our native ESP.
He’s not vindictive, but what can God do?
How else induce us to forsake this cult
Of dead, material causality?
“For a long time now I haven’t existed. I’m utterly calm. No one distinguishes me from who I am. I just felt myself breathe as if I’d done something new, or done it late. I’m beginning to be conscious of being conscious. Perhaps tomorrow I will wake up to myself and resume the course of my existence. I don’t know if that will make more happy or less. I don’t know anything.”
— Fernando Pessoa, born this day in 1888, wrote in many different styles, different moods, different substances, and seemed to have a different nom de plume for each.
His name means “person”.
.”nosrep” snaem eman siH
“A pseudonymic work is, except for the name with which it is signed, the work of an author writing as himself; a heteronymic work is by an author writing outside his own personality: it is the work of a complete individuality made up by him, just as the utterances of some character in a drama of his would be.”
You will never get to the bottom of Fernando Pessoa. There are too many of him.– Carmela Ciuraru
The things that we think, feel, and say today will necessarily seem foolish to our grandchildren a hundred years from now. So it would surely be better to forestall this now, and treat them as if they were foolish already.
— Witold Gombrowicz
This is the time to enjoy food once again, so much tastier for the weeks of abstinence. The new moon has been seen in the sky (a paradox, if I’ve ever heard one), and our first act of gratitude is to give alms to the poor—always an uplifting and ennobling gesture. عيد مبارك
One of my favorite stories of all times is the Tale of Ma’aruf the cobbler, who is transported by a genie and deposited on the streets of Baghdad, where he proceeds to borrow money as fast as he can and give it all to the poor.
I. M. Pei died last week, age 102.
Who but Pei would dare to modify the architectural experience of Le Louvre?
Kennedy Library in Boston
National Gallery in DC
The Museum in Qatar manages to look classically Islamic and also contemporary.
This was my favorite place to study when I was at Harvard in the 1960s. I always thought it was designed by Pei, but I was wrong.