a hard life

He huddles in a shadow and in winter in the cold.
When  the wind blows he shakes a little flame at the end of his
fingers and signals among the trees. He is an old man;
no doubt he has always been one and bad weather doesn’t
make him die. He goes down into the plain when evening
falls; during the day he stays halfway up the hill hidden
in some wood from which he has never been seen to
emerge. His little light trembles on the horizon like a
star as soon as night falls. Sunlight and noise frighten
him; he hides waiting for the shorter and silent days of
autumn, under the lowering sky, in the gray and gentle
atmosphere where he can trot, with bent back, without
being heard. He is the old man of winter who never dies.

Pierre Reverdy


The one who looks in an open window from outside never sees
as many things as the one who looks at a closed window. There is
no deeper, more mysterious, more fertile, more shadowy, more
dazzling object than a window lit by a candle. What one can see in
sunlight is always less interesting than what is taking place behind
a window. In that black or luminous hole life is being lived, life is
dreaming, life is suffering.

Beyond waves of roofs I see a mature woman, already wrinkled,
poor, always bending over something, and who never goes out.
With her face, her dress, her gesture, with almost nothing, I have
reconstructed the history of that woman, or rather her story, and
sometimes I tell it to myself in tears.

If it had been a poor old man, I would have done the same just
as easily.
And I go to bed, proud of having lived and suffered in others
as for myself.

Perhaps you will say to me: ,,Are you sure that this story is the
true one?” What does it matter what the reality outside myself may
be, if it has helped me to live, to know that I am and what I am?

Charles Baudelaire