Translation completed

I come back to silence. For a month, I went through the texts, writ­ten since 2011, in the brief uni­verse of my “prom­e­nades” (walks) to trans­late them, to reread what I have been let­ting oth­ers see all this time.

I have both revealed and hid things. I rec­og­nized myself there, I was sur­prised by my stub­born­ness in want­i­ng to be pub­lished, how I could be naive and yet vic­to­ri­ous, how none of this real­ly changed my life.

I smiled at the trans­for­ma­tion that has tak­en place in me, from the lone­li­ness of the self-employed work­er to obtain a direc­tor’s posi­tion, from aban­don­ment to a return to the roman­ti­cized per­son­al phi­los­o­phy that nour­ish­es I don’t know what, my mind or my body ?

I could not have accom­plished this trans­la­tion task with­out the help and progress of and An Eng­lish-speak­ing read­er will prob­a­bly be able to under­stand what I have tried to express, but will prob­a­bly feel uncom­fort­able in the mech­a­nized world of the trans­la­tion. I already knew it, but expe­ri­enc­ing it was some­thing else. Not every­thing can be said in exact­ly the same way in a for­eign lan­guage. My French ver­bal swelling some­times seems a lit­tle ridicu­lous in front of the forced sim­plic­i­ty of Eng­lish. Long sen­tences flow­ing like rivers do not pass Gram­marly’s dik­tat bar­ri­ers well. “Your sen­tences seem monot­o­nous.” Eng­lish does not like the “bleached writ­ing” of French. It prefers con­so­nants and rhythm. It seems to be look­ing for more breath­ing. It is kind of more of a warrior.

What about me in this war ? I come back to the silence of the feel­ing of the work done. At least that job. I have been work­ing hard over the past week to com­plete the trans­la­tion, to the point of hav­ing a slight headache. I was sup­posed to be on vaca­tion. I was instead in a per­son­al retreat, in the depths of my sub­stan­tial bone mar­row, where I like so much to keep qui­et and perish.

Fin­ish­ing a task, espe­cial­ly end­ing the jour­ney of a text, is like one of those lit­tle deaths that attract males. What to do now ? Aren’t there all these house­hold tasks, this front gallery stair­case to repair, these floor mold­ings to tin­ker with, this roof in the bath­room to inspect ? I find it eas­i­er to con­cen­trate on words than on things as a cica­da seems to be to its love song rather than to its survival.

How­ev­er, my site is now bilin­gual. I was hav­ing fun think­ing, late­ly, that I could trans­late all this into Por­tuguese to improve my knowl­edge of that lan­guage. Why am I doing all this any­way ? This ques­tion appears through­out these eight years of my poet­ic diary. I nev­er seem to have arrived safe­ly, just as I don’t seem to have real­ly left the main­land. For me, exis­tence remains an intox­i­cat­ing, calm, and ver­tig­i­nous spec­ta­cle, as Bud­dha’s gaze can be, anx­ious and implaca­ble as Shiv­a’s silence and cer­tain­ty are.

These five hun­dred and a few words were writ­ten and revised in fif­teen min­utes. Always for­ward then. Am I alone ?

I don’t know, let’s see what the Eng­lish text will think about it.