I am fortunate to be happy in life and motivated by a continuing desire to learn and explore. After a career in business I am focused now on exploring aspects of life that I did not previously have time to consider enough; art, architecture and photography. This blog is a diary or, more realistically, a scrapbook of what I am doing and learning. I am a strong believer that there is more than one dimension to all of us, and that we must avoid allowing life to squeeze us into a single-dimensional appearance. That idea of there people many people wrapped up within each of us is the subject of Pablo Neruda’s poem below. Bring on the Renaissance man and woman!
I have been described as one who is “adventurous but not restless, content but still curious, courageous but not foolhardy and sincere but not sentimental”. Well, I hope I can live up to that!
Of course every blog is to some degree an exercise in vanity publishing, and should be approached with caution as a result. But I have found there are interesting people with interesting perspectives and stories sharing these through blogs. If you find anything I have to contribute interesting or thought-provoking, please let me know.
If not, please pass on!
We are many
Of the many men who I am, who we are,
I can’t find a single one;
they disappear among my clothes,
they’ve left for another city.
When everything seems to be set
to show me off as intelligent,
the fool I always keep hidden
takes over all that I say.
At other times, I’m asleep
among distinguished people,
and when I look for my brave self,
a coward unknown to me
rushes to cover my skeleton
with a thousand fine excuses.
When a decent house catches fire,
instead of the fireman I summon,
an arsonist bursts on the scene,
and that’s me. What can I do?
What can I do to distinguish myself?
How can I pull myself together?
All the books I read
are full of dazzling heroes,
always sure of themselves.
I die with envy of them;
and in films full of wind and bullets,
I goggle at the cowboys,
I even admire the horses.
But when I call for a hero,
out comes my lazy old self;
so I never know who I am,
nor how many I am or will be.
I’d love to be able to touch a bell
and summon the real me,
because if I really need myself,
I mustn’t disappear.
While I am writing, I’m far away;
and when I come back, I’ve gone.
I would like to know if others
go through the same things that I do,
have as many selves as I have,
and see themselves similarly;
and when I’ve exhausted this problem,
I’m going to study so hard
That when I explain myself,
I’ll be talking geography.
Muchos Somos by Pablo Nureda
translated by Alastair Reid, published in Extravagaria
first published in Spanish 1958, this translation 1969.
To see the text in Spanish, click here
If you want to know more about my background, here is the link to use: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-hall/36/348/134