A Modest Man

INTERVIEWER: Are you concerned about what you’d leave behind?

JERRY GARCIA: No, I’m hoping to leave a clean field – nothing, not a thing. I’m hoping they burn it all with me. I don’t feel like there’s this body of work that must exist. There’s enough stuff – who needs the clutter, you know? I’d rather have my immortality here while I’m alive. I don’t care if it lasts beyond me at all. I’d just as soon it didn’t.

Interview, Rolling Stone, 2 September 1993

Music: Rosemary
Written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter
Performed by the Grateful Dead
Aoxomoxoa (1969)

Photo by Jan Saudek: Children Playing in a Cemetery (1973)

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Now

Photo by Robert Doisneau: The Cellist (1957)

Waking up begins with saying Am and Now.

Christopher Isherwood
A Single Man (1964)

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

John Wayne
Playboy interview, 1971

Photo by Robert Doisneau: The Cellist (1957)

On Mortality

Photo series by Jan Saudek: Maid's Evening (1980)

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

“Anne Coleman” in John Updike’s play Buchanan Dying (1974)

Photo series by Jan SaudekMaid’s Evening (1980)

The Poets

From room to hallway a candle passes
and is extinguished. Its imprint swims in one’s eyes,
until, among the blue-black branches,
a starless night its contours finds.

It is time, we are going away: still youthful,
with a list of dreams not yet dreamt,
with the last, hardly visible radiance of Russia
on the phosphorent rhymes of our last verse.

And yet we did know – didn’t we? – inspiration,
we would live, it seemed, and our books would grow,
but the kithless muses at last have destroyed us,
and it is time now for us to go.

And this not because we’re afraid of offending
with our freedom good people; simply, it’s time
for us to depart – and besides we prefer not
to see what lies hidden from other eyes;

not to see all this world’s enchantment and torment,
the casement that catches a sunbeam afar,
humble somnambulists in soldier’s uniform,
the lofty sky, the attentive clouds;

the beauty, the look of reproach; the young children
who play hide-and-seek inside and around
the latrine that revolves in the summer twilight;
the sunset’s beauty, its look of reproach;

all that weighs upon one, entwines one, wounds one;
an electric sign’s tears on the opposite bank;
through the mist the stream of its emeralds running;
all the things that already I cannot express.

In a moment we’ll pass across the world’s threshold
into a region – name it as you please:
wilderness, death, disavowal of language,
or maybe simpler: the silence of love;

the silence of a distant cartway, its furrow,
beneath the foam of flowers concealed;
my silent country (the love that is hopeless);
the silent sheet lightning, the silent seed.

Vasily Shishkov (1939)

happy birthday

Painting by Henri Matisse: The Joy of Life (1905-06)

But feel, to the very end, the triumph of being alive!

“Jöns” in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957)

Painting by Henri MatisseThe Joy of Life (1905-06)

For @pjux