My gaze is clear as a sunflower
By Fernando Pessoa
Translated by Keith Bosley
My gaze is clear as a sunflower.
It is my habit to walk along the roads
Looking right and left,
And from time to time looking back...
And what I see at any moment
Is something that I have never seen before,
And I can notice very well...
I can know the essential wonder
A child knows if at birth
It noticed it was actually being born...
I feel myself born at any moment
To the eternal newness of the World...
I believe in the world like a marigold,
Because I see it. But I don’t think about it
Because to think is to not understand...
The world was not made for us to think about it
(To think is to have pain in the eyes)
But for us to look at it and agree...
I have no philosophy: I have feelings...
If I speak of Nature it is not because I know what it is,
But because I love it, and this why:
Whoever loves knows what he loves
Nor why he loves, or what it is to love...
To love is eternal innocence,
And the only innocence is not to think...
Fernando Pessoa was Portugal's greatest poet of the twentieth century. This poem is sublime and it drives the message very clear –“ the only innocence is not to think”. The poet calls for an existence at one with the natural world around him, and see things as they are, without probing any underlying mystical or symbolic contents. It is like we becoming an intrinsic part of the natural world. We must, for instance, learn to see a mountain not through our exaggerated thinking function but to see it only as a mountain – to see it as it is in order to be in modest harmony with it. This is a kind of lesson in unlearning.
I think our whole problems stems from our vain and recalcitrant efforts to find answers as to why? The moment we turn into calm acceptance of what we see and experience, we usher in peace in our lives.