SHORT TAKES

Beyond the Bend in the Road

“I’ve never learned how to exist.” — Fernando Pessoa

It is Day One of the new decade. 1 January 2020. In thinking about the path ahead I looked back to this poem by Fernando Pessoa, whose approaches to the common things of life are frequently uncommon.

Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken also comes to mind as a good starting point for a new year. Other thoughts trickle in as I awaken to what lies ahead, including this one.

How can I walk in your shoes when I do not even know where my feet are?

This idea harmonizes with Pessoa insomuch as one is, at first, tempted to wonder if it is to be taken seriously.

Here’s a short poem by the great Portuguese literary figure. I love the eloquent way he sinks home the idea of living in the now, appreciating the gift that is right before our eyes. I enjoy the simplicity of these lines, along with the depths conveyed. I am reminded again of the notion that until we become as little children we shall not see the kingdom of God.

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Beyond the Bend in the Road

Beyond the bend in the road
There may be a well, and there may be a castle,
And there may be just more road.
I don’t know and don’t ask.
As long as I’m on the road that’s before the bend
I look only at the road before the bend,
Because the road before the bend is all I can see.
It would do me no good to look anywhere else
Or at what I can’t see.
Let’s pay attention only to where we are.
There’s only enough beauty in being here and not somewhere else.
If there are people beyond the bend in the road,
Let them worry about what’s beyond the bend in the road.
That, for them, is the road.
If we’re to arrive there, when we arrive there we’ll know.
For now we know only that we’re not there.
Here there’s just the road before the bend, and before the bend
There’s the road without any bend.

1914
Fernando Pessoa
A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe

The poem was originally shared at https://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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