Nostalgia, I feel it even for someone who meant nothing to me, out of anxiety for the flight of time and a sickness bred of the mystery of life.
Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.
My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while. […]. I’m two, and both keep their distance — Siamese twins that aren’t attached.
A breath of music or of a dream, of something that would make me almost feel, something that would make me not think.
From The Education of the Stoic by Fernando Pessoa
Like someone whose eyes, when lifted up after staring at a book for a long time, wince at the mere sight of a naturally bright sun, so too, when I lift my eyes from looking at myself, it hurts and stings me to see the vivid clarity and independence-from-me of the world outside, of the existence of others, of the position and correlation of movements in space. I stumble on the real feelings of others. The antagonism of their psyches towards mine shoves me and trips up my steps. I slide and tumble above and between the sounds of their strange words in my ears, the hard and definite falling of their feet on the actual floor, their motions that really exist, their various and complex ways of being persons who are not mere variants of my own.
From The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
From The Book of Disquiet
“I envy - but I’m not sure that I envy - those for whom a biography could be written, or who could write their own. In these random impressions, and with no desire to be other than random, I indifferently narrate my factless autobiography, my lifeless history. These are my Confessions, and if in them I say nothing, it’s because I have nothing to say.
What is there to confess that’s worthwhile or useful? What has happened to us has happened to everyone or only to us; if to everyone, then it’s no novelty, and if only to us, then it won’t be understood. If I write what I feel, it’s to reduce the fever of feeling. What I confess is unimportant, because everything is unimportant. I make landscapes out of what I feel. I make holidays of my sensations. I can easily understand women who embroider out of sorrow or who crochet because life exists. My elderly aunt would play solitaire throughout the endless evening. These confessions of what I feel are my solitaire. I don’t interpret them like those who read cards to tell the future. I don’t probe them, because in solitaire the cards don’t have any special significance. I unwind myself like a multicoloured skein, or I make string figures of myself, like those woven on spread fingers and passed from child to child. I take care only that my thumb not miss its loop. Then I turn over my and and the figure changes. And I start over.
To live is to crochet according to a pattern we were given. But while doing it the mind is at liberty, and all enchanted princes can stroll in their parks between one and another plunge of the hooked ivory needle. Needlework of things.. Intervals… Nothing…
Besides, what can I expect from myself? my sensations in all their horrible acuity, and a profound awareness of feeling… A sharp mind that only destroys me, and an unusual capacity for dreaming to keep me entertained… A dead will and a reflection that cradles it, like a living child… Yes, crochet…”
by Fernando Pessoa