Fernando Pessoa on Vanity.

I’ve just reread these pages on which I write with a lucidity that endures only in them, and I ask myself: What is this, and what good is it? Who am I when I feel? What in me dies when I am?

Like someone on a hill who tries to make out the people in the valley, I look down at myself from on high, and I’m a hazy and confused landscape, along with everything else.

In these times when an abyss opens up in my soul, the tiniest detail distresses me like a letter of farewell. I feel as if I’m always on the verge of waking up. I’m oppressed by the very self that encases me, asphyxiated by conclusions, and I’d gladly scream if my voice could reach somewhere. But there’s this heavy slumber that moves from one group of my sensations to another, like drifting clouds that make the half-shaded grass of sprawling fields turn various colours of sun and green.

I’m like someone searching at random, not knowing what object he’s looking for nor where it was hidden. We play hide-and-seek with no one. There’s a transcendent trick in all of this, a 􀀪uid divinity we can only hear.

Yes, I reread these pages that represent worthless hours, brief illusions or moments of calm, large hopes channelled into the landscape, sorrows like closed rooms, certain voices, a huge weariness, the unwritten gospel.

We all have our vanity, and that vanity is our way of forgetting that there are other people with a soul like our own. My vanity consists of a few pages, passages, doubts…


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