“I am the size of what I see!”

109

[3.24.1930]

Receiving what I felt to be an inspiration and a liberation, I passively reread those simple verses by Caeiro, his natural account of the results of the small size of his village. He says that because his village is small, it’s possible to see more of the world from it than from a city. Therefore, the village is larger than the city…

Because I am the size of what I see
And not the size of my own height.

Words like these, which seem to grow without there having to be a will reciting them, cleanse me of all the metaphysics I spontaneously add to life. After reading them, I walk to my window over the narrow street, gaze out at the huge sky and the myriad stars, and I am free, with a winged splendor whose vibration shakes my entire body.

“I am the size of what I see!” Every time I think these words with all the attention of my nerves, they seem to me more destined to reconstruct the universe in constellated fashion. “I am the size of what I see!” What a grand mental possession extends from the well of profound emotions to the high stars reflected in it, and which, in a way, are inside it.

And just now, aware of knowing how to see, I observe the vast, objective metaphysics of the entire sky with an assurance that gives me the will to die singing. “I am the size of what I see!” And the vague moonlight, entirely my own, begins to ruin the blue half-black of the horizon with vagueness.

I feel a desire to raise my arms and shout things of an unknown savagery, say words to the great mysteries, affirm a new, vast personality to the grand space of empty matter.

But I recover my senses and relax. “I am the size of what I see!” And the phrase becomes my entire soul, I invest all the emotions I feel in it, and above me, within, as if over the city outside, falls the undecipherable peace of the hard moonlight that begins broadly with nightfall.

— Bernardo Soares (Fernando Pessoa), The Book of Disquiet

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