We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.
A feeling is no longer the same when it comes the second time. It dies through the awareness of its return. We become tired and weary of our feelings when they come too often and last too long.
I revere the word of God for I love its poetic force. I loathe the word of God for I hate its cruelty. The love is a difficult love for it must incessantly separate the luminosity of the words and the violent verbal subjugation by a complacent God. The hatred is a difficult hatred for how can you allow yourself to hate words that are part of the melody of life in this part of the world? Words that taught us early on what reverence is?
There were the people who read and there were the others. Whether you were a reader or a nonreader--it was quickly noted. There was no greater distinction between people. People were amazed when he asserted that and many shook their head at such crankiness. But that's how it was.
How would it be after the last sentence? The last sentence he had always feared and from the middle of a book, he had always been tormented by the thought that there would inevitably be a last sentence.
...the dreamlike, bombastic wish to stand once again at that point in my life and be able to take a completely different direction than the one that has made me who I am now... To sit once more on the warm moss and hold the cap - it's the absurd wish to go back behind myself in time and take myself - the only marked by events - along on this journey.
One who would really like to know himself would have to be a restless, fanatical collector of disappointments, and seeking disappointing experiences must be like an addiction, the all-determining addiction of his life, for it would stand so clearly before his eyes that disappointment is not a hot, destroying poison, but rather a cool calming balm that opens our eyes to the real contours of ourselves.
Gregorius was never to forget this scene. They were his first Portuguese words in the real world and they worked. That words could cause something in the world, make someone move or stop, laugh or cry: even as a child he had found it enigmatic and it had never stopped impressing him. How did words do that? Wasn't it like magic?But at this moment, the mystery seemed greater than usual, for these were words he hadn't even known yesterday morning.
He had walked on the beach and wished for icy winds to sweep away everything that sounded like mere linguistic habit, a malicious kind of habit that prevented thinking by producing the illusion that it had already taken place and found its conclusion in the hollow words.
Sometimes I go to the beach and stand facing the wind, which I wish were icy, colder than we know it in these parts. I wish it would blow all the hackneyed words, all the insipid habits of language out of me so that I could come back with a cleansed mind, cleansed of the banalities of the same talk.
I often feel an aversion, even disgust at the same words written and spoken over and over – at the same expressions, phrases, and metaphors repeated. And the worst is, when I listen to myself I have to admit that I too endlessly repeat the same things. They’re so horribly frayed and threadbare, these words, worn out by constant overuse. Do they still have any meaning?
Why do we feel sorry for people who can't travel? Because, unable to expand externally, they are not able to expand internally either, they can't multiply and so they are deprived of the possibility of undertaking expansive excursions in themselves and discovering who and what else they could have become.
Each of us is several, is man, is a profusion of selves. So that the self who disdains his surroundings is not the same as the self who suffers or takes joy in them. In the colony of our being there are many species of people who think and feel in different ways.
To stand by yourself -- that was also part of dignity. That way, a person could get through a public flaying with dignity. Galileo. Luther. Even somebody who admitted his guilt and resisted the temptation to deny it. Something politicians couldn't do. Honesty, the courage for honesty. With others and yourself.
Because the one who wishes it – isn’t the one who, still untouched by the future, stands at the crossroads. Instead, it is the one marked by the future become past who wants to go back to the past, to revoke the irrevocable. And would he want to revoke it if he hadn’t suffered it?
Kitsch is the most pernicious of all prisons. The bars are covered with the gold of simplistic, unreal feelings, so that you take them for the pillars of a palace.
We can be sure that we will hold on to the deathbed as part of the last balance sheet – and this part will taste bitter as cyanide – that we have wasted too much, much too much strength and time on getting angry and getting even with others in a helpless shadow theater, which only we, who have suffered importantly, knew anything about ~ Night Train to Lisbon