Really random thoughts

4 11 2008

With some help from Nicolás Gómez Dávila

I’m on lunch in lovely San Francisco. The sun is shining, but I don’t want to go outside. So I’ll write. Okay. I’ll write.

Finally, after a long political campaign, I will finally (finally!) come out with my political position:

Democratic parliaments are not places where debate occurs but where popular absolutism registers its edicts.

Intellectual vulgarity attracts voters like flies.

Love of the people is an aristocratic calling. The democrat only loves the people at election time.

The number of votes which elect a ruler is not a measure of his legitimacy but of his mediocrity.

Politics is the pastime of empty souls.

-Nicolás Gómez Dávila

FYI – I’m not voting.

The study of myths belongs to metaphysics, not to psychology.

Also by the above.

When metaphysics becomes mathematics, the modern mind starves to death.


The Church used to absolve sinners; today it has the gall to absolve sins.

–Nicolás Gómez Dávila

So much for hermeneutic of continuity.

Of God one doesn’t speak with any precision or seriousness except in poetry.

A lot of people should really shut up then.

Many love humanity only in order to forget God with a clear conscience.

Insert, “many churchmen”.

Nations and individuals, with rare exceptions, comport themselves with decency only when circumstances permit no other choice.

There’s hope for us yet!

Thank you to Michael Gilleland’s site where I found these aphorisms.

Canción de la Muerte

4 11 2008

La vieja Empadronadora,
la mañosa Muerte,
cuando vaya de camino,
mi niño no encuentre.

La que huele a los nacidos
y husmea su leche,
encuentre sales y harinas,
mi leche no encuentre.

La Contra-Madre del Mundo,
la Convida-gentes,
por las playas y las rutas
no halle al inocente.

El nombre de su bautismo
–la flor con que crece —
lo olvide la memoriosa,
lo pierda, la Muerte.

De vientos, de sal y arenas
se vuelve demente,
y trueque, la desvariada,
el Oeste, y el Este.

Niño y madre los confunda
los mismo que peces,
y en el día y en la hora
a mí sola encuentre.

-Gabriela Mistral

Old Woman Census-taker,
Death the Trickster,
when you’re going along,
don’t you meet my baby.

Sniffing at newborns,
smelling for the milk,
find salt, find cornmeal,
don’t find my milk.

Anti-Mother of the world,
People-Collector —
on the beaches and byways,
don’t meet that child.

The name he was baptized,
that flower he grows with,
forget it, Rememberer.
Lose it, Death.

Let wind and salt and sand
drive you crazy, mix you up
so you can’t tell
East from West,

or mother from child,
like fish in the sea.
And on the day, at the hour,
find only me.

-translated by Ursula K. Le Guin, found on this site