So you can read my books

Friday, August 24, 2012



Jorge Luis Borges was born on this day in 1889.

In the earlier stanzas of his poem, “Limits,”

Borges ruminates on the fact that, though we are aware "there is a limit to all things and a measure,"

none of us can know the specifics —

the familiar street which we have already traveled for the last time,

the book in the stack upon the table which we will never get to read.

The concluding stanzas:

There is among all your memories one
Which has now been lost beyond recall.
You will not be seen going down to that fountain
Neither by white sun nor by yellow moon.

You will never recapture what the Persian
Said in his language woven with birds and roses,
When, in the sunset, before the light disperses,
You wish to give words to unforgettable things.

And the steadily flowing Rhone and the lake,
All that vast yesterday over which today I bend?
They will be as lost as Carthage,
Scourged by the Romans with fire and salt.

At dawn I seem to hear the turbulent
Murmur of crowds milling and fading away;
They are all I have been loved by, forgotten by;
Space, time, and Borges now are leaving me.
*{This image is in the public domain because the copyright of this photograph, registered in Argentina, has expired.}


  1. Dear Roland, I choose to be believe there is NO limit to certain things. There is no limit to how people can surprise me, there is no limit to my curiosity, there is no limit to how many people I can love, there is no limit to the beauty of nature, and so I could go on. I find mysef living without any form of measurment, therefor I can never be full :)

  2. I do like Siv's way of looking at life. I also have unlimited curiosity, which always makes life interesting, and keeps me alert to what's around me.

    Enjoyed the post and the trailer. I didn't know Borges influenced scifi and fantasy, so I've learned something as well.

    Have a great weekend, Roland.

  3. Perhaps there are memories shuffled to the archive files in our brain but it's amazing how a phrase a scent, a picture, can bring it all back into focus.

    I choose to believe there are yet many first left in my life. I try to focus on all of what is yet to come rather than what has passed on by.
    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  4. Siv:
    I, too, believe there are no limits to certain things but those that we place on them ourselves.

    But there is a limit to the lifespan of those we love. That those lives are limited makes them more precious due to their transitory, fragile nature.

    Our own lives have an expiration date. There is a foreclosure notice in the mails for each of our lives. Soon or late, the postman will come whether we want him to or not.

    To be aware of that is to savor each moment, to make life more not less.

    I have counseled many whose last words to a family member were hurtful. They said them, not realizing that person's shelf life was nearly up.

    He is one of the founding fathers to what is called Magical Realism. And I pray each day to keep a child-like sense of wonder and surprise of life. :-)

    Yes, indeed, scents and touch can trigger so many latent memories. I believe Jorge was trying to remind us not to take anyone or anything for granted. All flesh is grass and no bloom remains forever.

    But there are other limits denied that saddened me:

    Childhood has an end. Yet some parents try to keep their children dependent all their days, crippling them.

    Some look in the mirror and see wrinkles as dreaded signs of end of youth. They deny with bo-tox or surgery. They do not realize those wrinkles are signs of things lost, prices paid, and the eyes around which they lie are the wiser and kinder for the loss ... and the gain.

    Passion has an end. Men race to another woman to regain it. That passion too ends. The men do not realize that though passion ends, something deeper more lasting, more rich evolves from the slumbering passion into the love of two souls grown into one.

    Limits guide us. They do not diminish us. They are signposts to better paths.

  5. Well said, Roland, about parents who won't let go, aging, passion and hurtful words. That's what keeps me coming back to read your blog!

  6. D.G.:
    Your words made a weary blood courier's night! Especially since my weekend mostly off has been turned into one mostly working! Ouch!!

  7. So true Roland. There is more to life than living and more to death than dieing. All we can do is walk the line between the two and be grateful for those we meet along the way.

  8. Siv:
    As I am glad I've met you along my way! Victor just cleared his throat. He wants to be included in being glad to have met you! :-)

    I believe this is the 3rd time a comment from you has inspired another post from me. It is the first time for D.G. and Sia. My friends are my greatest inspirations.