Saturday, January 19, 2008

last night

At night my lost memory of you returned
and I was like the empty field where springtime,
without being noticed, is bringing flowers;

I was like the desert over which
the breeze moves gently, with great care;

I was like the dying patient
who, for no reason, smiles.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Last Night
translation by Agha Shahid Ali

Thursday, January 10, 2008

nothing's lost

nothing's lost. Or else: all is translation
And every bit of us is lost in it
(Or found

James Merrill
Lost in Translation lines 208-10
as quoted by Agha Shahid Ali in The Rebel's Silhouette

Monday, January 7, 2008

why experience pain?

I declare, monks [dhammafarers], that actions (kamma) willed, performed and accumulated, will not become extinct as long as their results have not been experienced, be it in this life, in the next life or in future lives. And as long as these results of actions willed, performed and accumulated, have not been experienced, there will be no end to suffering.
-words of Gautama Buddha

Parallel saying in contemporary Christian tradition:
I heard a priest once say the fires of hell and the pain of purgatory weren't literal fire, but the burning pain of regret around unhealed or unresolved harmful actions.