Fin d’amour


Le gai soleil chauffait les plaines réveillées.
Des caresses flottaient sous les calmes feuillées.

Offrant à tout désir son calice embaumé,

Où scintillait encor la goutte de rosée,

Chaque fleur, par de beaux insectes courtisée,

Laissait boire le suc en sa gorge enfermé.

De larges papillons se reposant sur elles

Les épuisaient avec un battement des ailes,

Et l’on se demandait lequel était vivant,

Car la bête avait l’air d’une fleur animée.

Des appels de tendresse éclataient dans le vent.

Tout, sous la tiède aurore, avait sa bien-aimée !

Et dans la brune rose où se lèvent les jours

On entendait chanter des couples d’alouettes,

Des étalons hennir leurs fringantes amours,

Tandis qu’offrant leurs coeurs avec des pirouettes

Des petits lapins gris sautaient au coin d’un bois.

Une joie amoureuse, épandue et puissante,

Semant par l’horizon sa fièvre grandissante,

Pour troubler tous les coeurs prenait toutes les voix,

Et sous l’abri de la ramure hospitalière

Des arbres, habités par des peuples menus,

Par ces êtres pareils à des grains de poussière,

Des foules d’animaux de nos yeux inconnus,

Pour qui les fins bourgeons sont d’immenses royaumes,

Mêlaient au jour levant leurs tendresses d’atomes.
Deux jeunes gens suivaient un tranquille chemin

Noyé dans les moissons qui couvraient la campagne.

Ils ne s’étreignaient point du bras ou de la main ;

L’homme ne levait pas les yeux sur sa compagne.
Elle dit, s’asseyant au revers d’un talus :

« Allez, j’avais bien vu que vous ne m’aimiez plus. »

Il fit un geste pour répondre : « Est-ce ma faute ? »

puis il s’assit près d’elle. Ils songeaient, côte à côte.

Elle reprit : « Un an ! rien qu’un an ! et voilà

Comment tout cet amour éternel s’envola !

Mon âme vibre encor de tes douces paroles !

J’ai le coeur tout brûlant de tes caresses folles !

Qui donc t’a pu changer du jour au lendemain ?

Tu m’embrassais hier, mon Amour ; et ta main,

Aujourd’hui, semble fuir sitôt qu’elle me touche.

Pourquoi donc n’as-tu plus de baisers sur la bouche ?

Pourquoi ? réponds ! » il dit : « Est-ce que je le sais ? »

Elle mit son regard dans le sien pour y lire :

« Tu ne te souviens plus comme tu m’embrassais,

Et comme chaque étreinte était un long délire ? »

Il se leva, roulant entre ses doigts distraits

La mince cigarette, et, d’une voix lassée :

« Non, c’est fini, dit-il, à quoi bon les regrets ?

On ne rappelle pas une chose passée,

Et nous n’y pouvons rien, mon amie ! »

A pas lents

Ils partirent, le front penché, les bras ballants.

Elle avait des sanglots qui lui gonflaient la gorge,

Et des larmes venaient luire au bord de ses yeux.

Ils firent s’envoler au milieu d’un champ d’orge

Deux pigeons qui, s’aimant, fuirent d’un vol joyeux.

Autour d’eux, sous leurs pieds, dans l’azur sur leur tête,

L’Amour était partout comme une grande fête.

Longtemps le couple ailé dans le ciel bleu tourna.

Un gars qui s’en allait au travail entonna

Une chanson qui fit accourir, rouge et tendre,

La servante de ferme embusquée à l’attendre.
Ils marchaient sans parler. Il semblait irrité

Et la guettait parfois d’un regard de côté ;

Ils gagnèrent un bois. Sur l’herbe d’une sente,

A travers la verdure encor claire et récente,

Des flaques de soleil tombaient devant leurs pas ;

Ils avançaient dessus et ne les voyaient pas.

Mais elle s’affaissa, haletante et sans force,

Au pied d’un arbre dont elle étreignit l’écorce,

Ne pouvant retenir ses sanglots et ses cris.
Il attendit d’abord, immobile et surpris,

Espérant que bientôt elle serait calmée,

Et sa lèvre lançait des filets de fumée

Qu’il regardait monter, se perdre dans l’air pur.

Puis il frappa du pied, et soudain, le front dur :

« Finissez, je ne veux ni larmes ni querelle. »

« Laissez-moi souffrir seule, allez-vous-en », dit-elle.

Et relevant sur lui ses yeux noyés de pleurs :

« Oh ! comme j’avais l’âme éperdue et ravie !

Et maintenant elle est si pleine de douleurs !…

Quand on aime, pourquoi n’est-ce pas pour la vie ?

Pourquoi cesser d’aimer ? Moi, je t’aime… Et jamais

Tu ne m’aimeras plus ainsi que tu m’aimais ! »

Il dit : « Je n’y peux rien. La vie est ainsi faite.

Chaque joie, ici-bas, est toujours incomplète.

Le bonheur n’a qu’un temps. Je ne t’ai point promis

Que cela durerait jusqu’au bord de la tombe.

Un amour naît, vieillit comme le reste, et tombe.

Et puis, si tu le veux, nous deviendrons amis

Et nous aurons, après cette dure secousse,

L’affection des vieux amants, sereine et douce. »

Et pour la relever il la prit par le bras.

Mais elle sanglota : « Non, tu ne comprends pas. »

Et, se tordant les mains dans une douleur folle,

Elle criait : « Mon Dieu ! mon Dieu ! » Lui, sans parole,

La regardait. Il dit : « Tu ne veux pas finir,

Je m’en vais » et partit pour ne plus revenir.
Elle se sentit seule et releva la tête.

Des légions d’oiseaux faisaient une tempête

De cris joyeux. Parfois un rossignol lointain

Jetait un trille aigu dans l’air frais du matin,

Et son souple gosier semblait rouler des perles.

Dans tout le gai feuillage éclataient des chansons :

Le hautbois des linots et le sifflet des merles,

Et le petit refrain alerte des pinsons.

Quelques hardis pierrots, sur l’herbe de la sente,

S’aimaient, le bec ouvert et l’aile frémissante.

Elle sentait partout, sous le bois reverdi,

Courir et palpiter un souffle ardent et tendre ;

Alors, levant les yeux vers le ciel, elle dit :

Amour ! l’homme est trop bas pour jamais te comprendre ! »
-Guy de Maupassant

Passenger – Home

They say home is where the heart is

But my heart is wild and free

So am I homeless or just heartless

Did I start this, did it start me

They say fear is for the brave

For cowards never stare it in the eye

So am I fearless to be fearful

Does it take courage to learn how to cry
So many winding roads

So many miles to go
They say love is for the loving

And without love maybe nothing is real

So am I loveless do I just love less

Oh since love left I’ve nothing left to feel
So many winding roads

So many miles to go
When I start feeling sick of it all

It helps to remember I’m a brick in the wall

That runs down from the hillside to the sea

And when I start feeling that it’s gone to far

I lie on my back and stare up at the stars

And wonder if they’re staring back at me.

(Song: Home by the artist: Passenger) 

Je ne consomme pas, je crée. Je n’absorbe pas, je rayonner!

I do not consume, I create. I do not absorb, I radiate!

-Ezra Hilyer

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Gfeller Casemakers Moleskine Leather Cover Review

Molesine Pocket Notebook In Gfeller Casemaker Case

I carry my Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook with me every day, and by the time I am done filling the notebook and move on to the next, I have usually stuffed it full with clippings, curled pages, photos and other detritus of life. The binding is swollen from all that extra bulk, and the book is usually starting to come loose at the binding. I needed a way to keep my notebooks in better shape for the 6 to 8 months that they travel with me, as I fill them up. I have tried various covers and ways to protect the binding and the book itself, but so far nothing has been a perfect fix for my problem.

I have experimented with making my own covers, but this new cover from Gfeller is the best solution that I have found. I will tell you up front that they are not cheap. I debated buying mine for several years because of the price, but I finally decided to spend the $75 and buy one, and I am very happy with the slip cover. I admit, I was somewhat surprised at how thick my Moleskine became when I put the case on, it adds a certain bulk that wasn’t apparent from the photos that I looked at online before buying. The English kip leather that they use for these cases is very durable and though each layer is very thin, by the time you add up the outer casing, and the inner lining, that adds 4 layers of leather to the thickness of the notebook when closed. My Moleskines are usually quite stuffed already, and so they can get very chunky.

Moleskine in Gfeller Casemaker Case 3

The construction of the cover is very detailed, I searched in vain to find where the stitching begins or ends, there are no sharp edges or rough places, it has been carefully made, and very well designed. The inner flaps extend beyond the outer edges so that there is no bump to write over, and the slot cut into the leather so that the elastic strap can still be functional is perfect.
Moleskine In Gfeller Casemaker Case2The leather was very pale and almost cream colored when I first received it, but over the past few weeks I have noticed it turning steadily darker to a middle caramel color right now, and according to Gfeller, it will continue to darken with more exposure to UV light, which certainly won’t be a problem in Florida! I also expect the soft leather to conform to the edges of the Moleskine, and take on a distinct character.

I like objects that wear well, and take on a unique patina with use, much like how a good pair of leather boots become comfortable and well worn with use, I expect to have this cover for many many years. Who knows what adventures it will be a companion on? A Moleskine wrapped in leather like this seems like just the thing that Indiana Jones would carry with him on his journeys. Its rugged and functional -which are the attributes that I respect most in the things that I enjoy owning.   EJH

Moleskine In Gfeller Casemaker Case

The delusive idea that men merely toil and work for the sake of preserving their bodies and procuring for themselves bread, houses, and clothes is degrading, and not to be encouraged. The true origin of man’s activity and creativeness lies in his increasing impulse to embody outside of himself the divine and spiritual element within him. -Frobel

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Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review

Ezra's Kaweco Sport Pen Straypoetry

The Kaweco Brass Sport Pen, is the first of the sport line of pens that Kaweco makes, that I have been interested in. As a rule I don’t consider plastic or resin a durable enough material for a pen that I would keep bouncing around in my pocket for years and years. Brass on the other hand is a nearly perfect material, it is durable, and takes a patina over time. It is dense and heavy which helps with a pen this small. It is nearly perfect for what I wanted, which was a pen that I could put in my pocket every day and not have to think about. When I need a pen, it will be ready for me.

Kaweco Brass Sport Pen

I have carried a wide variety of pens over the years, but the one area where they all seem to fall short is durability. They are either made of flimsy materials, or they are long and prone to get bent or otherwise messed up due to rough treatment. I am very happy with this pen, it seems to meet all of my requirements well.

I have had this pen for about a month now, and have used it several times a day, it has never failed to start up and though I will often pause with the pen uncapped for several minutes at a stretch, it has yet to dry up on me while I was pondering. I chose the EF nib with some hesitation as I have read that some of the finer Kaweco nibs have misaligned tines, but I have examined this one very closely and it is cut very straight and clean. I am not convinced that it is a true EF, I would consider it more of an F, but I am not worried about it, I am happy with the line weight.

I also bought the small bronze clip that is supposed to clip on the body of the pen, but it doesn’t seem to want to stay; it slides off very easily, so I just leave it at home. The only thing that I see as a potential issue is that this pen has a plastic insert inside the cap, this seems to be meant to quiet the sound of the threads as you screw it on, but I worry that over time those plastic threads may be pulled out by the brass ones on the body of the pen, only time will tell…

EJH

 

The Owl And The Serpent

OWL

Our modern western culture has lost its connection to the past, the rapid development of technology, and the global conflict during the world wars has drawn a bright line between ‘before’ and ‘now’. Since time immemorial, individuals and cultures felt a direct connection -or a line of succession, to history and historical personalities.

The extremely rapid acceleration of knowledge during the 100 years between 1880 and 1980 caused this break. Humanity went from the infancy of technology, that was Steam and the Telegraph, to an insanity that was global computer communication, Television, Space Travel, and Nuclear War. Punctuating that century like great drum beats were the intensely destructive World Wars, which ripped apart the societies of Europe and shook the foundations of western culture to its core. While Europe was reeling from those double shocks, a country that was barely into its adolescence was pushing forward with youthful strength and vigor.

Our culture changed while no one was looking, events were too large to be understood at the time, and even now: some 30 years from the close of that century the dust is still settling, and it isn’t yet apparent just how much has really changed. Like a rubber-band that has been stretched too fast and too far, western culture has broken and the link between the ancient world and current has irrevocably snapped.

We lose more than we realize by divorcing our current ideals and motives from the words of the past. Instead of maintaining the anchor to those writers of wisdom that stretch back into dim mists of time, we choose to throw off that link as if it were a chain to useless ideas. Far from useless those ideas and ideals have been a stabilizing connection to a store of built-up concepts and philosophy that shaped the world, built up brick by brick by mortals into a foundation of wisdom and reserve.

Before the century of destruction and change, it was not uncommon for any reasonably educated person to have read Marcus Aurelius, Cicero, Solomon, Plato, Socrates and have an understanding that history was a continuum. That civilization was a line that stretched back into time, and that they were still walking on that same road of thought as had their philosophical ancestors stretching back to the beginnings of what would eventually become western culture.

This isn’t unique to western culture, other societies and cultures get their identities from their own founders and traditions, these links have also suffered from the rapid advances and the pressure to be more ‘American’ or just modern ‘Consumer’. I think of a song called ‘Amerika’ by the German band Rammstein. It depicts people from all over the world and from every culture eating pizza from a delivery box and watching the moon landings on a TV, all while wearing american t-shirts and sneakers. Are we destined to all become mindless consumers and destroyers?

We have lost our connection to a common past and have jumped the divide and abandoned historical ideas as dusty, old, and not relevant to the modern world, while we are driven to distraction by small screens and short text messages. We have forgotten who we are, and why we are here.

It’s time to realize that we are just little pups who have run away from mother into the wild woods and are unprepared and so very young.

Minerva or Athena (Depictions of Wisdom) were said to have a small pet Owl, also symbolizing wisdom. Owls can see in the night, they have large unblinking eyes and seem to stare into your soul. They are also quiet and grave looking, which makes them a perfect symbol for wisdom. I propose that we desire to be small owls, not yet ready to fly from the nest, but eager to be wise. Wisdom is its own reward, and can be equally bestowed on kings and servants alike. Be an owl and not a serpent, for both are intelligent, but the owl is wise, yet the serpent is cunning. The aged owl devours the cunning snake.

“The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” -Hegel

-Ezra