Ode to Friday: Paz


I am a man: little do I last
and the night is enormous.
But I look up:
the stars write.
Unknowing I understand:
I too am written,
and at this very moment
someone spells me out.

~ Brotherhood by Octavio Paz (Mexican, 1914-1998)


Image: Girl with Red Flagpole, Kazimir Malevich


7 thoughts on “Ode to Friday: Paz

    • Wow.Those are the questions.

      One answer I was entertaining this week is blowing me away. I’m going to write a post about it soon.

      I just remembered an aspect of Goenkaji’s legacy to me personally. In the first few days of the Vipassana retreat, many things from my early life came back to me. People, scenes, the way the light looked. And I remembered a girl I’d been friends with when we were in our late teens. She had muscular distrophy and had difficulty walking. She could also fall over and not be able to get up without help, and this would happen a couple of times a day. She was a giant of a human being, the still calm centre of our group and we all loved her and felt protective towards her. She was so smart and optimistic and she did that immense thing that people with a disability often do: she took responsibility for putting all around her at our ease. When her memory surfaced at Vipassana, I was astounded I’d forgotten her.

      What Goenkaji provided me was the space in which she came back to me.


  1. I enjoy your “Ode to Friday” poem/painting combinations very much. The portrait seems to present the girl as a symbol rather than as an individual. Her expression gives nothing away.


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