Roseau pensant

Sphagnum chorused as I sat.
Otherwise it was still, save a breath from the south.
Shy campanas rang in silent profusion. To senesce and disperse their contents.
At first, I did not understand this life of solitude and silence.  Insentience.
And then, clarity. For I am Pascal’s Roseau pensant, uniquely capable of reflecting on such a thing.
To be like Foamflower.
To alternate between life and death, with neither worry nor distraction. Without feeling.
Blessing or curse?
I do not know.

14 thoughts on “Roseau pensant

  1. I revisit this, and reread (looking up the words again), struggling to formulate in words with help the many thoughts that come (I studied Pascal years ago). But instead of struggle, I want rest in the quietness of your words and image here to consider this existence of “in-between.” Some days I think maybe I am like foamflower. 🙂

    • How lovely to wake up to these words and thoughts L. You know George had observed, more than once, that you were the strongest person she knew. Clearly she was on to something. I send positive energies when I think of you and am sorry I am unable to do more. I know that communicating is difficult and I treasure every word that comes my way. It is work for you, I can well imagine. I often ask Joanna why I continue to maintain the blog and wonder whether it is simply an indulgence. I am pleased that you find peace among my words and pleasure in thinking deeply about the images. Thank you. Thank you very much. Please have a restful day, and ‘Hello’ to E.

  2. I read Pascal’s Pensées as a teenager – I was sort of a fan of his although now I consider it too depressing and ‘too heavy’ (same for all the existential philosophy stuff I gravitated to in high school). Thanks for bringing back memories!

  3. To be without feeling? A curse, I’d say: sometimes imposed by life, sometimes self-chosen. I will grant that the metaphor of the reed suits Pascal’s thought rather well, but then there is this: flexible though a reed may be, it remains hollow. It’s intriguing to ponder, for sure.

    • Once again, you provide thoughtful insight. Many times, I am sure, folks who click-on-through do so to look at the image. You are certainly one who reads first … and I appreciate that. I think there is a bright side to Pascal in that the reed (even though hollow, as you say) is … nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows none of this.

    • Wow … thanks for sending this along Steve. It would appear that I have stumbled upon an easily sensitized existential nerve? I don’t agree, however, that the poem is either ‘dark’ or ‘moody.’ I wonder why folks equate these terms with this honest and frank assessment?

  4. Blessing or curse, no one knows. There is no knowing. We think we know, but it is said that plants know…they feel. Do they think? They respond. What does that mean? Does it mean a thing? I have no idea.

    Lovely image of the foamflower and your choice of selective focus is excellent.

  5. What a delicate little specimen. It WOULD be nice to go through life with no worries about what’s to come. However, I THINK you’d have to be alone with no cares for anyone else. That would be a difficult trade-off.

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