Between the computer, a pencil, and a typewriter half my day passes. One day it will be half a century. I live in strange cities and sometimes talk with strangers about matters strange to me. I listen to music a lot: Bach, Mahler, Chopin, Shostakovich. I see three elements in music: weakness, power, and pain. The fourth has no name. I read poets, living and dead, who teach me tenacity, faith, and pride. I try to understand the great philosophers--but usually catch just scraps of their precious thoughts. I like to take long walks on Paris streets and watch my fellow creatures, quickened by envy, anger, desire; to trace a silver coin passing from hand to hand as it slowly loses its round shape (the emperor's profile is erased). Beside me trees expressing nothing but a green, indifferent perfection. Black birds pace the fields, waiting patiently like Spanish widows. I'm no longer young, but someone else is always older. I like deep sleep, when I cease to exist, and fast bike rides on country roads when poplars and houses dissolve like cumuli on sunny days. Sometimes in museums the paintings speak to me and irony suddenly vanishes. I love gazing at my wife's face. Every Sunday I call my father. Every other week I meet with friends, thus proving my fidelity. My country freed itself from one evil. I wish another liberation would follow. Could I help in this? I don't know. I'm truly not a child of the ocean, as Antonio Machado wrote about himself, but a child of air, mint and cello and not all the ways of the high world cross paths with the life that—so far— belongs to me.
Adam Zagajewski - 1945-
I watched the arctic landscape from above and thought of nothing, lovely nothing. I observed white canopies of clouds, vast expanses where no wolf tracks could be found. I thought about you and about the emptiness that can promise one thing only: plenitude— and that a certain sort of snowy wasteland bursts from a surfeit of happiness. As we drew closer to our landing, the vulnerable earth emerged among the clouds, comic gardens forgotten by their owners, pale grass plagued by winter and the wind. I put my book down and for an instant felt a perfect balance between waking and dreams. But when the plane touched concrete, then assiduously circled the airport's labryinth, I once again knew nothing. The darkness of daily wanderings resumed, the day's sweet darkness, the darkness of the voice that counts and measures, remembers and forgets.