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metaphysics

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Te dehojé, como una rosa,
para verte tu alma,
y no la vi.

Mas todo en torno
– horizontes de tierras y de mares –,
todo, hasta el infinito,
se colmó de una esencia
inmensa y viva.

– Juan Ramon Jiminez

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I took off petal after petal, as if you were a rose,
in order to see your soul,
and I didn’t see it.

However, everything around –
horizons of fields and oceans –
everything, even what was infinite,
was filled with a perfume,
immense and living.

– Translation by Robert Bly

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My own attempt at translation:

I stripped you,
like I would strip a rose of its leaves,
in order to see your soul

And I did not see it. But everything around –
horizons of earth and of ocean – everything, out to infinity
was filled with your perfume
immense and alive.

Mine is a less beautiful way. But I really think there is something specific in the choice of “dehoje” in the first bit. The word is literally ‘to de-leaf,’ maybe best translated as “defoliate.” This seems a very specific choice – the poet is not saying he tore away the PETALS of the rose, but its LEAVES. I like the idea that a rose’s soul is found not in the heart of the flower, but under its leaves….this implies that the soul of the rose is the thorn….That said, I adore the translation on “esencia” as “perfume.” Gorgeous, gorgeous – it could have been “essence,” which is much more abstract and less haunting than perfume.

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Poetry by Juan Ramon Jiminez.
Translation by Robert Bly.
Kindly made public by As It Ought to Be.

http://asitoughttobe.com/2010/03/13/saturday-poetry-series-presents-juan-ramo…

Photo by Kyle Griffith, 2001. Accessed through the Cities and Buildings Database of the University of Washington Digital Collection.

http://128.95.104.14/buildingsweb/index.html

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Few voices go deeper into my core than Carl Sandburg’s. I think that few voices went deeper into Carl Sandburg than that of Abraham Lincoln. So let the words, then, be magnified, prismatic, by the generations who have attended upon them and been moved.

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In life, you find yourself in a dark room from which you cannot see any way out. You are groping blindly along the walls, which are featureless and smooth. Finally, after what seems an eternity, you find in the dark a doorknob. When you turn it, a door opens, and you pass into another chamber, only to find that it, too, is perfectly dark and featureless. When you finally find another door, it opens into another dark chamber. And so it repeats, a blind stumbling, until one day, after a lifetime of searching, you open a door into a new place, one that is not dark, but perfectly, radiantly light. That last door is death.

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Quantum entanglement describes the metaphysics of devotion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

“Two particles can be related, or ‘entangled,’ in such a way that they instantly coordinate their properties regardless of distance in space and time…Eistein found entanglement particularly troubling, denigrating it as ‘spooky action at a distance.'”  – Rivka Galchen, “Dream Machine: the Mind-Expanding World of Quantum Computing,” in the New Yorker, May 2nd, 2011.

Einstein could barely bring himself to believe in quantum physics, and resisted their influence until his death. Einstein also resisted love.

“If we are to survive in the environment we have made ourselves, may we have to be monstrous enough to greet our predicament?” – Nicholas Mosley, Hopeful Monsters (Dalkey Archive Press, 1991).

There is something monstrous about our interweavings, the invisible bonds that tangle our fates together, and something monstrous in the moment of reveal, when two particles collide in recognition.

 

Photograph by Karsten Heller.

via We Find Wildness:
http://www.we-find-wildness.com/2011/05/karsten-heller/heller_iii/

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