Sunday, April 26, 2015

AMAZEMENT


PROTEA


“The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world - impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not - to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.”

--Charles Baudelaire, from The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays

"I might have been myself minus amazement, / that is, / someone completely different.”
--Wyslawa Szymborska

AFTER A RAIN YESTERDAY AFTERNOON,
AND A BLESSED DAY ON THE SOFA WITH MY BOOKS

1 comment:

  1. Yeah for Polish poets! I love Szymborska. Which gets me thinking...here's one from my favorite of favorites that has come to mind many times when looking at your photographs, which so often seem to be the product of a pregnant pause in the day:

    Gift

    A day so happy.
    Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
    Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
    There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
    I knew no one worth my envying him.
    Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
    To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
    In my body I felt no pain.
    When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.

    -Czeslaw Milosz

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