Does it matter who is the poet, as long as it touches your heart?
I am at that stage of a man’s life when he feels the time is running out. There is nothing much to look forward to, nothing more to achieve in life. When the man realizes the futility of it all and just wishes to be left alone. The exuberance of the youth loses its shine.
He has done his bit, but so many are yet undone.
The cynic in him laughs.
He knows that the time is running out and wants to spend whatever is left doing things that matter to him. Society's vainness irritates him, and he feels agitated and helpless. Yet he has to be part of that society and must keep up with it all.
But the soul revolts. It tries to break free from the shackles society puts it to.
For him, life’s gifts are to be savored, not just to be tasted. Life’s pains and pleasures are just not a few milestones to be crossed, but to be enjoyed slowly so that they linger.
Life has an inertia of its own. It has its own rules — for the pauper and the prince, it is the same. No favorites.
The rule that governs life and the rule that governs society is different — hence the conflict.
A poem can say it so much better.
A good friend of mine shared this poem with me, the other day, and it hit a chord. It tugged at something raw inside my heart.
This small poem speaks about what an ordinary person like me feels, but cannot articulate so nicely.
This poem most often is attributed to the Brazilian poet Mario de Andrade. Mario de Andrade wore many hats — he was a poet, a novelist, a musicologist, an art historian, a photographer, and a critic to boot. Yet this poem is not written by him.
The original poem with the title “Tempo que Foge,” was written in Portuguese by Ricardo Gondim Rodrigues. It was later translated into English by Father Richard Landry of the La Salette Missionaries.
Both the title of the poem and the poet to whom the poem is attributed are false. But that does not take away the fact that this is a lovely poem. Sharing the poem with you all.
I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by than I have lived so far.
I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first, he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.
I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures, and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.
I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.
My time is too short: I want the essence; my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.
I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty. It is the essentials that make life useful.
I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.
Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give. I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.
We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.
Originally published at https://barun.substack.com on April 23, 2022.