Baudelaire: Anywhere Out Of The World

golgotha

David Mach, Golgotha

 

 

Life is a hospital where every patient is obsessed by the desire of changing beds. One would like to suffer opposite the stove, another is sure he would get well beside the window.

It always seems to me that I should be happy anywhere but where I am, and this question of moving is one that I am eternally discussing with my soul.

“Tell me, my soul, poor chilly soul, how would you like to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and you would be as blissful as a lizard in the sun. It is a city by the sea; they say that it is built of marble, and that its inhabitants have such a horror of the vegetable kingdom that they tear up all the trees. You see it is a country after my own heart; a country entirely made of mineral and light, and with liquid to reflect them.”

My soul does not reply.

“Since you are so fond of being motionless and watching the pageantry of movement, would you like to live in the beatific land of Holland? Perhaps you could enjoy yourself in that country which you have so long admired in paintings on museum walls. What do you say to Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts, and ships that are moored on the doorsteps of houses?”

My soul remains silent.

“Perhaps you would like Batavia better? There, moreover, we should find the wit of Europe wedded to the beauty of the tropics.”

Not a word. Can my soul be dead?

“Have you sunk into so deep a stupor that you are happy only in your unhappiness? If that is the case, let us fly to countries that are the counterfeits of Death. I know just the place for us, poor soul. We will pack up our trunks for Torneo. We will go still farther, to the farthest end of the Baltic Sea; still farther from life if possible; we will settle at the Pole. There the sun only obliquely grazes the earth, and the slow alternations of daylight and night abolish variety and increase that other half of nothingness, monotony. There we can take deep baths of darkness, while sometimes for our entertainment, the Aurora Borealis will shoot up its rose-red sheafs like the reflections of the fireworks of hell!”

At last my soul explodes! “Anywhere! Just so it is out of the world!”

Advertisements

Stendhal: She Looks At Herself…

Narcissus-Caravaggio@2x

Caravaggio, Narcissus

 

 

 

She looks at herself instead of looking at you, and so doesn’t know you.

During the two or three little outbursts of passion she has allowed herself in your favor, she has, by a great effort of imagination, seen in you the hero of her dreams, and not yourself as you really are.

 

-Stendhal, The Red and the Black

Untitled

4fa8f1db64dbd2fa729c9da0f729478f

Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting

 

 

 

 

She is the ivy crawling up my legs
the sunrise in my heart
the memory of yesterday
flash of cathetic lightning
arcs to the already dream of tomorrow.
This curved, paranoid space of the
present beneath the black rainbow
of projection.

She dreams she is a butterfly.
Awake, in the greyscale prosaic day
she is a target of others’ obsessions
and neuroses. Asleep, she does not
wonder if (day or night, public or private)
she is not a butterfly dreaming: silk turquoise,
indigo, gold, emerald green, aquamarine.

 

 

 

 

Hegel: Love Is A Most Monstrous Contradiction

The_remains_of_a_memory_1400

Adam Martinakis, The Remains Of A Memory

 

 

 

“Love is a most monstrous contradiction. It defies understanding. To love is to give what one does not have and to receive that over which one has no power. To love is to freely negate the stubbornness that is the self and to live in loyalty to an affirmation that can dissolve like morning mist with the first experience of betrayal.”

 

-Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel