Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year - make it a good one!

The Karakorum range view from the Himalayas

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Albert Einstein

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pain and suffering

Pain of the Cosmos / Orion Nebula

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Haruki Murakami [What I Talk About When I Talk About Running]

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas

Aurora from the International Space Station

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old
Franz Kafka [Jewish-Bohemian writer, 1883-1924]

Merry Christmas!
Καλά Χριστούγεννα!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

to the knowing stars

Orion Nebula

Once emerged from the gray of night

Then ponderous and prized

and strengthened by fire

Evenings bowed by the fullness of God

Now heavenly showered with blue,

vanished over snow-covered mountains

to the knowing stars.

(English translation by Kathryn Porter Aichele)

Paul Klee (born 18 December, 1879)
for his birthday

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Αγρύπνια - the original


Insomnie, impalpable Bête !
N’as-tu d’amour que dans la tête ?
Pour venir te pâmer à voir,
Sous ton mauvais oeil, l’homme mordre
Ses draps, et dans l’ennui se tordre !…
Sous ton oeil de diamant noir.

Dis : pourquoi, durant la nuit blanche,
Pluvieuse comme un dimanche,
Venir nous lécher comme un chien :
Espérance ou Regret qui veille.
À notre palpitante oreille
Parler bas… et ne dire rien ?

Pourquoi, sur notre gorge aride,
Toujours pencher ta coupe vide
Et nous laisser le cou tendu,
Tantales, soiffeurs de chimère :
– Philtre amoureux ou lie amère
Fraîche rosée ou plomb fondu !

Insomnie, es-tu donc pas belle ?…
Eh pourquoi, lubrique pucelle,
Nous étreindre entre tes genoux ?
Pourquoi râler sur notre bouche,
Pourquoi défaire notre couche,
Et… ne pas coucher avec nous ?

Pourquoi, Belle-de-nuit impure,
Ce masque noir sur ta figure ?…
– Pour intriguer les songes d’or ?…
N’es-tu pas l’amour dans l’espace,
Souffle de Messaline lasse,
Mais pas rassasiée encor !

Insomnie, es-tu l’Hystérie…
Es-tu l’orgue de barbarie
Qui moud l’Hosannah des Élus ?…
– Ou n’es-tu pas l’éternel plectre,
Sur les nerfs des damnés-de-lettre,
Râclant leurs vers – qu’eux seuls ont lus.

Insomnie, es-tu l’âne en peine
De Buridan – ou le phalène
De l’enfer ? – Ton baiser de feu
Laisse un goût froidi de fer rouge…
Oh ! viens te poser dans mon bouge !…
Nous dormirons ensemble un peu.

Tristan Corbiere [Insomnie]

Θανάσης Παπακωνσταντίνου - Αγρύπνια

Insomnia, impalpable Creature!
Is all your love in your head
That you come and are ravished to see
Beneath your evil eye man gnaw
His sheets and twist himself with spleen,
Beneath your black diamond eye?

Tell me: why, during the sleepless night,
Rainy like a Sunday,
So you come and lick us like a dog?
Hope or regret that keeps watch,
Why, in our throbbing ear
Do you speak low … and say nothing?

Why to our parched throat
Do you always tilt your empty cup
And leave us stretching our neck,
Tantaluses, thirsters for chimeras–
Amorous philter or bitter dregs,
Cool dew or melted lead!

Insomnia, aren’t you beautiful? …
Well, why, lascivious virgin,
Do you squeeze us between your knees?
Why do you moan on our lips,
Why do you unmake our bed,
And … not go to bed with us?

Why, impure night-blooming beauty,
That black mask on your face? …
To fill the golden dreams with intrigue? …
The breath of Messaline weary
But still not satisfied?
Insomnia, are you Hysteria? …

Are you the barrel organ
Which grinds out the hosanna of the elect? …
Or aren’t you the eternal plectrum
On the nerves of the damned-of-letters
Scraping out their verses — which only they have read?

Insomnia, are you the troubled donkey
Of Buridan — or the firefly
Of hell? — Your kiss of fire
Leaves a chilled taste of red-hot iron …
Oh, come perch in my hovel! …
We will sleep together a while.

(translated by Kenneth Koch and Georges Guy)

Sunday, December 4, 2016


A mind is like a parachute. It does't work if it is not open.

Frank Vincent Zappa
American composer of Greek, Arab, Italian and French descent, passed way on 4 December 1993, aged 52

Frank Zappa - One size fits all