Search This Blog

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ade Ileke: 41 L'Aube

L'aube de la conscience
est boire sans voir,
naviguer sans prévoir,
vivre sans désespoir.

Puis, dans l'après-midi,
nous buvons du thé,
émiettants des calissons d'Aix,
tout en pensant du Passé.

The dawn of consciousness
is (like) drinking without seeing,
sailing without a plan,
living without despair.

Then, in the afternoon,
we drink tea,
crumbling cookies (calissons d'Aix)
all the while thinking of the Past.


Ruth said...

This is touching, and poignant. I've been studying the word saudade, the Portuguese-Galician term for longing, which is sort of a deep nostalgia... could be for the future as well as for the past, for a person or a place. Your first stanza feels like the Zen I'm trying to learn (reading Zen in the Art of Archery), the letting go, and then the second leads me into saudade.

Montag said...

That is a coincidence, for yesterday I was reading Suzuki on the Buddhist notion of non-dual thinking (which hitherto made absolutely no sense to me), and it became a bit clear as the type of "engagement" we have with the world when we let go and just do it.

Afterwards, we modify things considerably and we never "engage" so simply and completely as we did at first.

It strikes me what the Lord Buddha spoke of. The original engagement does not "reflect" back on itself, and reason about itself, and uses no concepts to portray itself: it just is.

One thing about Buddhism most of us do not realize is their sophisticated philosophy of cognition and their logic and so on, and it becomes a bit difficult to get through it all. However, sometimes there is a great notion.

Do you feel the saudade when you have let go? Or is it the step just before letting go?

I found that letting go in a fairly thorough manner can be quite frightening at first. I suppose that's why Buddhist monks have mentors to help them.

Montag said...

Oops, forgot:

the poem was supposed to portray the original engagement in the first stanza; it was like going sailing without a plan!

The second stanza was to portray subsequent consciousness, which is more like our idea of civilized and reasonable behavior.