Saturday, August 11, 2012
Spoke at the door of the inn.
He spoke to me as well.
He spoke of justice and the struggle for justice,
Of the workers who suffer,
Of their unending drudgery, of those who hunger,
And of the rich who only turn their backs.
And looking at me, he saw tears in my eyes
And smiled with satisfaction, convinced that I felt
The hatred he felt and the compassion
He said he felt.
(But I was scarcely listening to him.
What do I care about people
And what they suffer or suppose they suffer?
Let them be like me, and they won't suffer.
All of the world's trouble comes from us fretting over one another,
Whether it be to do good or to do evil.
Our soul and the sky and the earth is all we need.
To want more is to lose this, and to be unhappy.)
What I was thinking about
While the friend of the people spoke
(And this moved me to tears)
Was how the distant twinkling of sheep bells
As the day began to close
Did not seem like the bells of a tiny chapel
Calling to mass the flowers and streams
And simple souls like my own.
(I thank God I am not good
But have the natural egoism of flowers
And rivers that follow their path
With only their flowering and their flowing.
That is the only mission in the world:
To exist clearly,
And to do so without thinking about it.)
And the man fell silent, looking at the sunset.
But what good is a sunset to one who hates and loves?
Posted by Fernando Pessoa at 8:32 AM