senses

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses,
just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

Oscar Wilde

Sometimes I quite suddenly lose the whole thread of my life: sitting in some corner of the universe, near a smoky dark café, polished bits of metal set out before me, tall, mild-mannered women ebbing and flowing around me, I wonder how I finally washed up here beneath this arch that is really the bridge they have named sky. This is the moment of oblivion, the moment when vast fissures in the Palace of the World widen into daylight: I would give up the rest of my life – a paltry sum – if only it could endure. For then the mind detaches a little from the human machine and I am no longer the bicycle of my senses, a grindstone honing memories and encounters. And then I grasp chance within me, I grasp all of a sudden how I surpass myself: I am chance, and having formed this proposition I laugh at the thought of all human activity.

Louis Aragon, from Une Vague de rêves (A Wave of Dreams, 1924)

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