The Wine's the Thing

Treasure is stored in the ruined places. Do not break the hearts of the poor and heartbroken people. Rumi may have written that, but I have felt those words both at the literal ruins of the geography described in The Towers of Trebizond, with that same feeling of being spied on by the eyes of the furtive oldest natives, and also after so many wreckages in life, I write wreckage but really I mean that treasure is indeed stored there, furtive treasure, only apparent to he who has remained and didn't bail, howling for the paltry riches of his transient life.
You've carved so many little figurines, too many. All the self doubts pile up until there is no more vessel to hold them, something cracks, the place is left in ruins.
The man who truly asks must be sure ... that he's mistaken in what he's doing or thinking now. And two, that there is a wisdom he doesn't know yet. The human is broken for its own good; all of the faultiness in the human vessel exists in order not to privilege the human but the wine in the human vessel. Passion is present when a man can distinguish between the wine and the container. Two men see a loaf of bread. One hasn't eaten anything for ten days. The other has eaten five times a day, every day. He sees the shape of the loaf. The other man with his urgent need sees inside into the taste, and into the nourishment the bread could give. Be that hungry, to see within all beings the Friend. To realise one is useless is the beginning of becoming useful. The sated doesn't believe the starved.
It takes uncertainty of difficulty to begin to see other people become defined against the background and emerge. The hearts of the poor and heartbroken people. How many people are waiting for an understanding glance, a reminder they are not alone.
Earlier this morning, an elderly man on the bus next to me began to ask on the phone when hospital visiting hours were; he mentioned lunching with friends. Was it his polite manner, his wish to make a hospital visit, the tone of his voice - I felt I was sitting next to an old friend. When he made a subtle gesture to indicate he wished to vacate his seat, I moved elsewhere to let him pass freely; he joked, I don't know if I'm coming or going, and I laughed out loud. As he left the bus, I noticed that he was smiling. I noticed, too, that he was wearing a pair of light beige, pressed corduroys, who wears them anymore. A smiling, polite, smartly-dressed, humourous old gentleman.
And time, and knowledge, these things can fall away, as much as I love them both, perhaps they're a source of much deception. What matters all the books read if they've helped no one, not helped oneself. Creatures are cups. The sciences, arts and all branches of knowledge are inscriptions around the outside of the cups. Then a cup shatters, the writing can no longer be read. The wine's the thing!



6 comments:

  1. Il faut être toujours ivre. Tout est là:

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  2. Thank you for that, indeed, Baudelaire, what a wonderful connection... De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise. Mais enivrez-vous. ... Pour n'être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps... Inspiration... Living in the rainbow of the hermeneutic arc and defining one's life against pointlessness. So different from trying to be clever.

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    1. Le Spleen de Paris - marvellous book, much concerned with cleverness and its ills.

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    2. It's been an age since I read it, and was not thinking of it when I wrote the second part of my last comment.
      In it, did B. not speak out against the ills of the modern age. Was that part of what you meant by "concerned with cleverness"? I remember as much darkness as illumination, also, little humility.
      To think of these modern works as a whole, I can't refrain from citing Elémire Zolla; here I will cite one of his lines as 'correspondence': "the anxiety to anxiety to defeat boredom .. destroys all inner life".

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  3. The range of that little book of prose poems is quite large - too big to contain in any summary. I was thinking (just as an example of the encounter with a kind of besotted cleverness of foppish city mores) of something like Un plaisant : http://baudelaire.litteratura.com/pop/texte/142-un-plaisant.html#.UoBRdBpUc3U

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to reply, particularly as I clearly need to read the book again before further comment. I think I saw what you meant thanks to the link.

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