Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Fernando Pessoa: Learn from everyone

129 [182]

It is a rule of life that we can and must learn from everyone. There are serious matters in life to be learned from charlatans and bandits, there are philosophies to be gleaned from fools, real lessons of fortitude that come to us by chance and from those who depend on chance. Everything contains everything else.
In certain very lucid moments of meditation, like those times when, as evening sets in, I wander through the streets looking about me, each person offers me some snippet of news, each house some novelty, each poster some advice.
My silent walk is one long conversation, and all of us, men, houses, stones, posters and sky, are one great comradely crowd, elbowing each other with words in the great procession of Fate.

Bernardo Soares (Fernando Pessoa), The Book of Disquiet, Extraordinary Classics,
Serpents Tail, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa, 1991