Like the spider…

Yesterday the day got away from me. It started with a run to the post office, then downtown, a few café stops. It also included a chance meeting with somebody whom I had not seen in years. He is special in my life. I was sitting by the lake taking a break from life, watching the ducks on the lake, and then I hear this distinct voice. I got up and walked towards the voice. I would not have recognized him without the voice. He would not have recognized me. Period. In the years past we have both changed, gotten older mostly. His expressions have gotten softer, and his rheumatism gotten worse. We talked about his wife and our families, we are family friends. We chatted for about ten minutes before I had to go.

After so many years this chance meeting was bound to happen. We live in the same neighborhood. It was bound to happen. Finally it did. The joy of such a chance meeting is always double. First there is fact that one finally gets to see somebody who is important in your life but for a multitude of reasons you have been out of touch. Second there is the joy and sobering experience of catching up with what has happened in the last few years since you lost touch. It makes me think that it is not all that bad when you loose touch with people you esteem. When you meet again, the joy is immense. 

Still my day was far from being over. I dropped by at the dojo as there is seminar going on this weekend. I am not yet back up to being on the tatami, but I did try it briefly yesterday and it seems that it is still all there. At least I can still roll on both sides without killing my ailing shoulders. After the seminar I joined my Aikido colleagues for dinner and had interesting chats with Sensei Chris Mooney and Sensei Barbara Imboden and most of those around the table.

With Sensei Chris we ended up on the subject of writing, and I thought that somehow the most sound advice on being a writer is the one that Bukowski has penned. I particularly like the poem ‘how to be a great writer’ vernacular language and all.  Now, how is it that a woman can read Bukowski? I find that behind his macho veneer, there is one sensitive and screaming human as frail as any other. I am not offended by his vernacular language or the sexist clichés, and there are lines in some of his poems that might set your head spinning. Advice is like food. You eat it, chew it, swallow it, digest it, and the parts that your metabolism does not keep, are expelled and rarely, if ever, does excrement smell like roses.

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As long as you love

and love as much as you can,

as long as you give your all to your love

and give as much as you can, you are young…


Nazim Hikmet Rubaiyat

(translation: Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk)


Ai que prazer
Não cumprir um dever,
Ter um livro para ler
E não o fazer!
Ler é maçada,
Estudar é nada.
O sol doira
Sem literatura.

O rio corre, bem ou mal,
Sem edição original.
E a brisa, essa,
De tão naturalmente matinal,
Como tem tempo não tem pressa…

Livros são papéis pintados com tinta.
Estudar é uma coisa em que está indistinta
A distinção entre nada e coisa nenhuma.

Quanto é melhor, quando há bruma,
Esperar por D. Sebastião,
Quer venha ou não!

Grande é a poesia, a bondade e as danças…
Mas o melhor do mundo são as crianças,
Flores, música, o luar, e o sol, que peca
Só quando, em vez de criar, seca.

O mais do que isto
É Jesus Cristo,
Que não sabia nada de finanças
Nem consta que tivesse biblioteca…


Fernando Pessôa (1888 – 1935)