Cabo da Boa Esperança

Ele dobra o Cabo da Boa Esperança.
He is rounding the Cape of Good Hope.
— Portuguese proverb

The Cabo das Tormentas, or Cape of Storms, as it was originally known after being named by Bartolomeu Dias was a monumental place for Europeans, and especially the Portuguese. But, before delving further into this story, I will note that I am not a linguist of the language nor do I have that good a sense of their culture or life — I am, quite simply, a master of conjecture. And, my mastery could be entirely misled. 🙂

The meaning of this phrase is something I’ll return to before espousing this wild conjecture I have in my mind. Namely, it signifies that the person in question is in the final phase of their life and that nothing else of significance will happen for them.

João II, o Príncipe Perfeito, decided to rename the cape from the Cape of Storms to that of Good Hope — his reaction, no doubt, signifying that for him the passing of the cape was the signal of divine providence he had hoped and looked for. He had been financing journeys to the distant lands for a long time, hoping to hear that the ships made progress towards India and yet thus far, all they had been able to do was to make their way further south. Yet, where they really had to go was north. This cape provided the first base after which they were likely to move further north, and hence this was a sign.

The rounding of the very same cape, therefore, was one of the most important moments ever. Who could guess that another few thousand kilometres remained before their carracks could reach the Malabar coast, and who could even guess what sort of difficulties they would find when they got there. Fortunately, when that time came they were up to the challenge as they had men of sufficient quality to lead in those troubled times.

So, my conjecture: what seemed to be an easy task would be such in the eye of the person in the old country. For them, the rounding of the cape made for that final stretch, even if unknowingly the stretch could take twenty years to conquer and be a few thousand kilometres long. They were *almost* there. And, with that mentality, the rounding of the cape was defining moment.

And, as such, it has remained in the language even though history shows otherwise for the country as a whole.

Contradiction is the essence of the universe.

A essência do universo é a contradição.
— Fernando Pessoa

As my previous post from half a month ago shows, Sr Pessoa’s statement is so very true. Even though I verily planned to write more, it hasn’t happened — now, however, I am writing about not writing. What a contradiction in every way.

Yet, fortunately, over the last few days I have managed to visit a few places so I’ll be able to put my thoughts on paper regarding those — and during that time, hopefully formulate some other expressive thoughts.


October was a good month for me but less so for this blog, as can be observed from the fact not a single post was written in that time. Indeed, as the two main methods of what I used to post about have become more complex (more on that below) I’ll need to think of something else or replace those with other similarly topical posts.

But, to be more concrete… I used to write about places I would visit and how these were, and, secondly, forward reviews from Goodreads as I do tend to write something on every book over there.

The first of these has fallen a bit to the wayside as a month in Norwich (October) did not allow for much exploring (read: I did not choose to spend my time discovering new places or rediscovering the old) and the month before that the sea was quite limiting in what I could see. The one option is to look back in time and write of my memories of the places I visited before Scotland, and I might go for that — we’ll see.

The second one — Goodreads reviews — have become more complex as the direct link between the two services was severed by Goodreads some time ago. I have seen mention of scripts and such which can still convert a review from one to the other, but I have not really taken the time to explore these in as much detail as I should have.

In other words, I hope to write more or at least ensure that what I write will end up here, but the plan for getting to that stage is pretty weak.

Clear Skies

Today has been a brilliant day, the sky clear and resplendent; these brilliant days often make me wonder. Firstly, the question to wonder about is what else can be seen under this sky? The answer to this is — literally anything. Similarly, who else could be looking at the sky at the same time?, who else might be wondering the same things?, asking these same questions? Again, it could be anyone. It could also be no one.

Slightly aimless? Perhaps…

But now, what if we try to think of places which have never seen a clear sky? How many of those can there be? If Jupiter’s gaseous clouds hide sentience, what is their concept of a clear sky? What of the people on Titan, or the inhabitants of Venus? Is a clear sky on Mercury the one which burns under the gaze of Sol, or the one which faces the vast emptiness of space?

When we start considering these issues, we are truly lost. Lost since the answers are impossible to comprehend since they are so far out of our normal range of experiences. I wish they weren’t though… That would be the greatest experiment of pathos, the way to awaken tender emotions, that a man can undertake — finding an instance of normality (the reality we know) in the most foreign of environments.

Unfortunately, this is something very difficult to actually practice. It would be good fun though.


Where is justice in this world?

And what exactly amounts to justice?..

A Use of Facebook — What is in Your Mind?

While Facebook certainly has its advantages, consuming time for no real gain is one of the general disadvantages. However, it does work to keep one posted with news (assuming people other than me are as foolish to add ten-twenty newspapers to their news feed so that anything is broadcast at least twice) and with interesting things friends do. Friends, as in FB friends, which does not necessarily need to equal that on any other level. But that is irrelevant here and now.

What I actually wanted to display was an interesting thought I saw. Namely, the following status a friend of mine posted:

“You really love him/her, don’t you?”
A psychological question, no name was mentioned but still, someone came into your mind.

What did your mind do?

On Locations and Songs

It has made me most curious to find that it would seem lyrics for songs (to be fair, maybe also movies and books), have a better effect on people if they are close to the area mentioned therein. I am not entirely sure, but that is quite what it looks like.

And I have tried to think back and to see whether similar effects have applied in the past, but it is difficult for few things I listen to deal with places/locations, so I am not sure if I can attest to this being entirely true.

[Probably have to be in the States to enjoy the full effect of that. =P]

I’ll close my eyes and sleep, sleep, To the sound of London rain.

At Sea

I didn’t think beforehand how I would respond to being at sea. Now I know that I possibly could not have guessed — for I am not entirely sure even now, and if six weeks cannot tell me something, then how would I be able to guess it beforehand?

I remember asking whether different seas looked different… as in if the colours of the waters change, and if the feeling it gives is different. The answer I got was a ‘no’. I was unsure if to believe the person or not.

Now, weeks later, I can say that he was wrong or he lacked the perception needed. As I have seen them, there is a great difference to the sea depending on which sea one is steaming on. Character, power, emotion — all different. And that is an inherent brilliance.

The Ways of (***) Future

If I were to think of the future, I could possibly outline two ways of the future playing out. And then I would think of the benefits and downsides of either way, trying to weigh them in my mind to see which one my mind and heart would prefer more.

And that is what I’ve been doing every now and then lately. But there is a problem… both of the two, as I see it, bring to me a similar happiness at every stage when I’m going along it for they would enable different things and possibilities — and I know in the deepest part of my soul that I would miss the one I could not achieve no matter how far I would get on the chosen path.

So, the choice seems to be between two equal options, bringing equality in both good and bad. The same amount of things not happening as things happening, at least insofar as can be considered relevant within the category of “life-changing decisions”.

What to do, what to do?

I would think, that the way to solve this problem… is to just let things play out, and since one of the two is guaranteed, I will just let it happen. There is really no other way to go about it.

On Liberty

The boundaries of ’liberty’ are clearly and well seen when one reaches upon the thought that any one object, sensation, or feeling, if being called a liberty, itself drive the boundaries of this so-called ‘liberty’ onwards, and do not assist in extinguishing the flame of burdens, but rather serve as places from which the radiance of liberty is cast forward only to shine against the darkness of the night in assurance that wherever a concept of liberty has developed there also exists the notion of imprisonment, and by that the word liberty in itself encloses a space and thereby leaves it not free in any notion or state of will. This is likewise confirmed by that there cannot exist a notion of liberty if there is no form of entanglement from which one could be liberated – to be free, one first needs to be held back.

If this is to be reassured by an example of sorts then one only has to envision that a man of a free society, which knows no borders or limits to itself or its abilities, if one such can indeed exist, would have no concept of either liberty, for there is nothing but liberty, nor of imprisonment, to an enclosed unit of thoughts, wishes, desires, actions, or movements, for such a thing would be an impossibility in their society. If this man would now happen to meet a man of the modern society, and he would be asked what are his liberties in his life and existence, then he would have no opportunity to answer, because nothing in that life is a liberty insofar as it is already something taken for granted, thereby losing the illustrious image of a liberty. So, the man would, in all likelihood, say “Could you pray tell, what is this ‘liberty’?”

This is what I wrote on this interesting question some time ago.

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