“Knowing that work will never be finished is bad. Worse, nevertheless, is never-done work. The work that we do, at least, is left done. It may be poor, but it exists, like the miserable plant in the only pot my crippled neighbor has. The plant is her joy – sometimes it’s mine as well. What I write, and recognize to be bad, can also supply a few moments of distraction from worse things to one or another sorrowful or sad spirit. It’s enough for me, or it’s not enough, but in some way it’s useful, and that’s the way my whole life is.
A tedium that includes the anticipation of just more tedium; the grief, already, of grieving tomorrow for having grieved today – great, useless entanglements possessing no truth, great entanglements . . .
. . . where, huddled on a bench in the railway station, my disdain sleeps in the mantle of my despondency . . .
. . . the world of dreamed images that makes up both my understanding and my life . . .
The scruple of the present moment neither weighs on me nor lasts within me. I hunger to extend time, and I want to be myself without any conditions.”
(Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, from note 240 in Alfred Mac Adam’s translation, which is note 320 in Maria Aliete Galhoz & Teresa Sobral Cunha’s edition of the Livro do Desassossego.)