Archive for August, 2012

George Seferis_cover

An Old Man On the River Bank

 

    For Nanos Panagiotopoulos

And yet we have to consider how to proceed.

To feel is not enough, nor to think, nor

to move

nor to risk your body in the ancient embrasure,

when the boiling oil and molten lead groove

the walls.

And yet we have to consider to what direction we go ahead

not the way our pain desires it and our hungry

children

and the chasm of our comrades’ call from

the opposite shore

not even the darkened light whispers it in the improvised

hospital,

the pharmaceutical shine on the young man operated

on at noon

but in some other way perhaps I mean to say that

the long river that emerges from the great lakes enclosed

deep in Africa

and at sometime it was god and then it turned into road and

benefactor and judge and delta

that is never the same as the wise old people taught

and yet it always remains the same body, the same bed and

the same Point,

the same orientation.

I don’t want anything else but to speak simply, let

this grace be granted to me.

Because even our song we’ve loaded with so much

music that slowly sinks

and our art we’ve decorated so much that its features

are eaten by the gold

and it is time that we say our few words because

tomorrow our soul sails away.

If pain is human, we are not human just

to suffer pain

that’s why I contemplate so much these days about

the great river

this image that goes forward between herbs and

verdure

and beasts that graze and drink and people who

sow and harvest

and even in great tombs and small plots

of the dead.

This current that leads its way and that is not at all

different from the blood of men

and from the eyes of men when they stare straight ahead

without any fear in their hearts

without the everyday shiver about the little things or

even the great ones

when they stare straight ahead like the wayfarer who is

used to find his way guided by the stars

not like us, the other day, looking at the enclosed orchard

of an sleepy Arabic house

behind the lattice, the fresh garden changed shape, growing

larger and smaller

changing as we looked at it; we changed the shape of

our desire and our hearts

at high noon, us the patient dough of a world

that pushes us away and kneads us,

caught in the ornamented nets of life that was right and

then it turned into dust and sank in the sand

leaving behind it only that indecipherable dizzying

sway of a tall palm tree.

 

~George Seferis

~Cairo, 20 June ‘42

 

ΕΝΑΣ ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΚΡΟΠΟΤΑΜΙΑ

Στον Νάνο Παναγιωτόπουλο

Κι όμως πρέπει να λογαριάσουμε πώς προχωρούμε.

Νά αισθάνεσαι δέ φτάνει μήτε νά σκέπτεσαι μήτε νά

κινείσαι

μήτε νά κινδυνεύει τό σώμα σου στήν παλιά πολεμίστρα,

όταν τό λάδι ζεματιστό καί τό λιωμένο μολύβι

αυλακώνουνε τά τειχιά.

Κι όμως πρέπει νά λογαριάσουμε κατά πού προχωρούμε,

όχι καθώς ο πόνος μας τό θέλει καί τά πεινασμένα

παιδιά μας

καί τό χάσμα τής πρόσκλησης τών συντρόφων από τόν

αντίπερα γιαλό,

μήτε καθώς τό ψυθιρίζει τό μελανιασμένο φώς στό

πρόχειρο νοσοκομείο,

το φαρμακευτικό λαμπύρισμα στό προσκέφαλο τού

παλικαριού που χειρουργήθηκε τό μεσημέρι

αλλά μέ κάποιον άλλο τρόπό, μπορεί νά θέλω νά πώ

καθώς

τό μακρύ ποτάμι πού βγαίνει από τίς μεγάλες λίμνες τίς

κλειστές βαθιά στήν Αφρική

καί ήτανε κάποτε θεός κι έπειτα γένηκε δρόμος καί

δωρητής καί δικαστής καί δέλτα

πού δέν είναι ποτές του τό ίδιο, κατά πού δίδασκαν οι

παλαιοί γραμματισμένοι,

κι ωστόσο μένει πάντα τό ίδιο σώμα, τό ίδιο στρώμα, και

τό ίδιο Σημείο,

ο ίδιος προσανατολισμός.

Δέ θέλω τίποτε άλλο παρά νά μιλήσω απλά, νά μου δοθεί

ετούτη η χάρη.

Γιατί καί τό τραγούδι τό φορτώσαμε μέ τόσες μουσικές

πού σιγά-σιγά βουλιάζει

καί τήν τέχνη μας τή στολίσαμε τόσο πολύ πού φαγώθηκε

από τά μαλάματα τό πρόσωπό της

κι είναι καιρός νά πούμε τά λιγοστά μας λόγια γιατί η

ψυχή μας αύριο κάνει πανιά.

Άν είναι ανθρώπινος ο πόνος δέν είμαστε άνθρωποι μόνο

γιά νά πονούμε

γι’ αυτό συλλογίζομαι τόσο πολύ, τούτες τίς μέρες, τό

μεγάλο ποτάμι

αυτό τό νόημα πού προχωρεί ανάμεσα σέ βότανα καί σέ

χόρτα

καί ζωντανά πού βόσκουν καί ξεδιψούν κι ανθρώπους πού

σπέρνουν καί πού θερίζουν

καί σέ μεγάλους τάφους ακόμη καί μικρές κατοικίες τών

νεκρών.

Αυτό τό ρέμα πού τραβάει τό δρόμο του καί πού δέν είναι

τόσο διαφορετικό από τό αίμα τών ανθρώπων

κι από τά μάτια τών ανθρώπων όταν κοιτάζουν ίσια-πέρα

χωρίς τό φόβο μές στήν καρδιά τους,

χωρίς τήν καθημερινή τρεμούλα γιά τά μικροράματα ή

έστω καί γιά τά μεγάλα

όταν κοιτάζουν ίσια-πέρα καθώς ο στρατοκόπος πού

συνήθισε ν’ αναμετρά τό δρόμο του μέ τ’ άστρα,

όχι όπως εμείς, τήν άλλη μέρα, κοιτάζοντας τό κλειστό

περιβόλι στό κοιμισμένο αράπικο σπίτι,

πίσω από τά καφασωτά, τό δροσερό περιβολάκι ν’ αλλάζει

σχήμα, νά μεγαλώνει καί νά μικραίνει,

αλλάζοντας καθώς κοιτάζαμε, κι εμείς, τό σχήμα τού

πόθου μας καί τής καρδιάς μας,

στή στάλα τού μεσημεριού, εμείς τό υπομονετικό ζυμάρι

ενός κόσμου πού μάς διώχνει καί πού μάς πλάθει,

πιασμένοι στά πλουμισμένα δίχτυα μιάς ζωής πού ήτανε

σωστή κι έγινε σκόνη καί βούλιαξε μέσα στήν άμμο

αφήνοντας πίσω της μονάχα εκείνο τό απροσδιόριστο

λίκνισμα πού μάς ζάλισε μιάς αψηλής φοινικιάς.

~Γιώργος Σεφέρης

~Κάϊρο, 20 Ιουνίου `42

 

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Dr Dimitri Karalis

In my early youth, I became aware of the effect of thinking upon human destiny. I was wondering though, why parents, schools and societies were not aware of this vital issue. How is it possible I was asking myself, such a conspicuous effect of the mind upon our life to remain entirely unnoticeable?

Nothing in life arrives by luck or accident without first being planted by our own thoughts and deeds? Wealth, poverty, happiness, unhappiness, success, failure and what else, are all part of our thinking process. We become what our thoughts and deeds are -and harvesting exactly what we have planted there. Good luck, co-incidence and external opportunities for success in life, are only random voices of ignorance and superstition. They resemble the hooting of the owls in the night, which only the daylight will calm and silence.

Little knowledge makes man dogmatic, superstitious and intolerant towards others. It closes his mind from any light, like the sea oysters do. Advance self-awareness though, opens the mind and brings wisdom, calm and tolerance towards all others. It understands the ever-present cosmic law around us, which respects and corporates like an inner sacrament. Deeper self-knowledge clears and brightens the spiritual horizons for soul’s eyes to wonder a little further.

The human destiny as I said before is the result of personal thoughts and deeds. We are the sum of our inner thinking and personal actions. Each human face represents its thoughts and deeds in life. Confusion of character diagnosis is very rare, not even from blind humans. We single out the refine, sincere and disciplined characters, from the unrefined and undisciplined ones, like the partridges from the night bats. We are the architects of our future destiny, so no one is to blame or praise for our present fate but ourselves.

We progress in life with the cosmic accurate law and not by pseudo-technical tricks. “Every physical and mental deed has its rewards and punishments accordingly”, said Oscar Wilde.

Success, fame and prosperity, are the sum of many little good deeds, like the countless little unnoticeable night stars that makes up the luminous Milky Way. Failures to succeed in life are the accumulation of many selfish thoughts and deeds that extinguish any luminous achievement. We are wasting our time and effort in trying to pretend and hide the dirty tricks in life. They ripen slowly by themselves and appear wide open one day with the strong voice of thunder. The whole world has to hear and know what we did in our secret chambers. A few examples here I think are essential.

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS

  1. Animalistic thoughts usually crystallize in to sensuality, alcoholism and coarseness, which lead to insecurity, fear and unhappiness.
  2. Selfish thoughts, waste nerve energy and the loss of trust from society.
  3. Doubts fear and indecision crystallize in cowardly and unmanly behaviour, which ends in failure to succeed in life.
  4. Laziness and gluttony, leads to unclean physical habit that ends up in disease and intolerance towards others.
  5. Hate, blame, jealousy, criticism and sycophantic thoughts, lead to hostility, loneliness and to court of justice many times.
  6. Egocentric thoughts lead to a habit of grabbing and loneliness, which builds the repulsive face like a vampire eventually.

CONSTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS

  1. Pure thoughts lead to temperance and self-control that ends up with mental and spiritual tranquillity.
  2. Courageous, confidant and decisive thoughts, lead to initiative, leadership, trust and economic independence.
  3. Physical and mental activity leads to physical and mental health with creativeness and economic prosperity as compensation from it.
  4. Calmness, un-peevishness and forgiveness bring refinement of character and love and protection from the public.
  5. Loving and compassionate thoughts, lead to family and social harmony, which ends in enviable happiness and prosperity.
  6. Openness, progressive thoughts and tolerance for others, leads to intellectual and spiritual blooms that the world loves and admires everlastingly.

The cosmic wheel turns and writes uninterrupted and without a single omission. All our deeds and thoughts have been stored in its mental soil that we will harvest definitely someday. They are written with flaming words upon the door of eternity. Nobody can deny them; non-can remove and nobody can escape. He, who put his hands in the flaming fire, will pay always with burning skin. The same exactly happens with our thoughts and deeds. Hate, jealousy, envy, revenge, fear, sycophancy, and all other selfish deeds, are fires that BURN.

I hope someday; parents, schools and societies, will become aware about this vital truth and teach their offspring as soon as possible. Sooner than the alphabet, I would rather say. Only then and not sooner will we feel safer as a community, with less need for police protection, costly armies, courts of justice, prisons of embarrassment and the poverty at our doorstep; Poverty that tortures and agonises three fifths of our planet for centuries now.

Dr Dimitri Karalis
Hermanus –South Africa