Wednesday, July 17, 2019


"Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality—it’s all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I’m attending here is a show with another set. And the show I’m attending is myself.

In the ordinary jumble of my literary drawer, I sometimes find texts I wrote ten, fifteen, or even more years ago. And many of them seem to me written by a stranger: I simply do not recognize myself in them. There was a person who wrote them, and it was I. I experienced them, but it was in another life, from which I just woke up, as if from someone else’s dream.

I often find texts of mine that I wrote when I was very young—when I was seventeen or twenty. And some have a power of expression that I do not remember having them. Certain sentences and passages I wrote when I had just taken a few steps away from adolescence seem produced by the self I am today, educated by years and things. I recognize I am the same as I was. And having felt I am today making a great progress from what I was, I wonder where this progress is if I was then the same as I am today.

Just a few days earlier I suffered horribly reading a short text I’d written earlier. I remember perfectly that my scruples—at least as far as language is concerned—are only a few years old. In a drawer I found a much older text in which those same scruples were strongly accentuated. I didn’t understand myself in the past in a positive way. How did I advance towards what I already was? How can the person who knows me today not know me yesterday? 

All this confuses me in a labyrinth where I am with myself and wander away from myself.
I wander with my thoughts and I’m sure that what I’m writing now I already wrote. I remember. And I ask the being that in me presumes to exist if there might not be in the Platonism of sensations another, more appropriate amamnesis, another memory of a former life that might only be of this life…

My God, my God, whose performance am I watching? How many people am I? What is this space between myself and myself?"

~ Fernando Pessoa
 from The Book of Disquiet


Mystic Meandering said...

Incredibly profound... "And the show I'm attending is myself." If only we could remember this! And not identify with it... It's all a magic show!