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The Only Begotten

6 March 1984
I envy - though I'm not sure if envy is the right word - those people about whom one could write a biography, or who could write their autobiography. Through these deliberately unconnected impressions I am the indifferent narrator of my autobiography without events, of my history without a life. These are my Confessions and if I say nothing in them it's because I have nothing to say.

What could anyone confess that would be worth anything or serve any useful purpose? What has happened to us has either happened to everyone or to us alone; if the former it has no novelty value and if the latter it will be incomprehensible. I write down what I feel in order to lower the fever of feeling. What I confess is of no importance because nothing is of any importance. I make landscapes out of what I feel. I make a holiday of sensation. I understand women who embroider out of grief and those who crochet because life is what it is. My old aunt passed the infinite evenings laying patience. Those confessions of my feelings are my game of patience. I don't interpret them, the way some read cards to know the future. I don't scrutinize them because in games of patience the cards have no value in themselves. I unwind myself like a length of multicolored yarn, or make cat's cradles out of myself, like the ones children weave around stiff fingers and pass from one to the other. Taking care that my thumb doesn't miss the vital loop I turn it over to reveal a different pattern. Then I start again.

Living is like crocheting patterns to someone else's design. But while one works, one's thoughts are free and, as the ivory hook dives in and out amongst the wool, all the enchanted princes that ever existed are free to stroll through their parks. The crochet of things...A pause...Nothing...

For the rest, what qualities can I count on in myself? A horrible keen awareness of sensation and an all too deep consciousness of feeling...A sharp self-destructive intelligence and an extraordinary talent for dreams to entertain myself with...A defunct will and a reflective spirit in which to cradle it like a living child...In short, crochet...

--Fernando Pessoa's Bernando Soares' "The Book of Disquiet"