arcana imperii :: the book of j


to the «busy-body» (ies)

i've been reading the meditations by marcus aurelius for about a year now (obviously very, very slowly and just a bit at a time). they reflect the contemplative thoughts and philosophical wisdom of a long-dead emperor and require slow digestion as the food for the soul (mind) they certainly are.

a passage from book II has carried much weight this week and i wish to share it below.

«begin the morning by saying to thyself, i shall meet with the busy-body,
the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. all these
things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good
and evil. but i who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful,
and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong,
that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that
it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the
divinity, i can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can
fix on me what is ugly, nor can i be angry with my kinsman, nor hate
him, for we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like
eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. to act against
one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one
another to be vexed and to turn away.»

~marcus aurelius, meditations, book ii


two love poems

what is love?

love is the passion which endureth,
which neither time nor absence cureth;
which nought of earthly change can sever:
love is the light which shines for ever.

what cold and selfish breasts deem madness
lives in its depths of joy and sadness;
in hearts, on lips, of flame it burneth —
one is its world, to one it turneth.

its chain of gold — what hand can break it?
its deathless hold — what force can shake it?
mere passion aught of earth may sever,
but souls that love, love on for ever.
~mary anne lamb

funeral blues

stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
silence the pianos and with muffled drum
bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
scribbling on the sky the message he is dead,
put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

he was my north, my south, my east and west,
my working week and my sunday rest,
my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
i thought that love would last for ever; i was wrong.

the stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
for nothing now can ever come to any good.
~w h auden



quotation of the week

«what makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core
~hannah arendt



fy fan!



truth to remember

there is always one more son-of-a-bitch than one counted on.


another thought

«love is the difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.»
~iris murdoch

quotation of the week

«god runs electromagnetics by wave theory on monday, wednesday, and friday, and the devil runs them by quantum theory on tuesday, thursday, and saturday.»
~sir william bragg



sombra do ser

«não sei, mas meu ser
tornou-se estranho,
e eu sonho sem ver
os sonhos que tenho.»

~whywhat, sombra do ser