The Unending Gift

posted by Arkham on March 10th, 2009

A painter promised us a picture.

Here in New England, having learned of his death, I felt once again the sadness of recognizing that we are but shapes of a dream. I thought about the man and the picture, both lost.

(Only the gods can make promises, for they are deathless.)

I thought about the place, chosen in advance, where the canvas will not hang.

Later, I thought: if it were there, wouldn’t it in time become one thing more–an object, another of the vanities or habits of the house? Now the picture is limitless, unending, capable of taking any form or colour and bound to none.

In some way, it exists. It will live and grow, like music, and will remain with me to the end. Thank you, Jorge Larco.

(Also men can make promises, too,
for in a promise there is something that does not die).

From Jorge Luis Borges, “Elogio de la sombra“.

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