Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Unimaginable Universe

On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe.

I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.

- Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

You Learn

You Learn.

You Learn.

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn. . .
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure. . .

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth. . .

And you learn and learn. . .

With every good-bye you learn.

 - Jorge Luis Borge

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Northern Envy

Damn Damn Damn. As the Northern Summer ebbs and flows into Autumn, I've got the lifestyle envy BAD. It's not that I don't like my own life. I do. Very much. But in the last two days I've seen summer holiday snaps from my Danish friends Erik & Ida, and Derbyshire pics from my Australian-In-London friend, Hannah. And they are SICKENINGLY LOVELY.

Erik & Ida are two of the healthiest, most wholesome looking people I know - laughing by the lakeside together, tanned, unlined and ripped without even trying. They literally glow. (Thank you, Scandinavian country lifestyle. You make everyone look AMAZING.) And then there's Hannah, sitting under quiet skies at a pub in Derbyshire, eating a homemade bakewell tart. I freakin LOVE bakewell tarts. And I am tired of Northern longings. I don't want to live there (though I think a year in Denmark would do me good), just...have my Northern nations down the road to visit whenever I want.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Day Return To Brighton

Image searching one of my personal philosophies (Adapt Or Die), I made a happy discovery - Margaret Huber's Day Return To Brighton, a quirky little site full of illustrated train tickets. Totally made my morning. Go have a look around, then check out her website.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Reuben and Ginny just hooked me up with this beautiful installation piece / stop-motion animation from Melbourne-based designers, ENESS. Love their work.