The Sacred Instant

Life is made of moments. But, in the sparkle of the sacred, how to describe what eternally flows and at the same time is static?

The Sacred Instant

In the olden days, films were made of frames, small pictures that flowed on a spool in the projector, forming images that moved. To edit them, it was enough to use a box cutter over the celluloid strip to cut out unwanted scenes, or keep very desired and censored ones – as in Cine Paradiso, by Giuseppe Tornatore, with a soundtrack by the unforgettable Ennio Morricone.

But, and how to edit the film of the Art of Real Life, with its alchemy that drives us to real self-knowledge, to the yearning for liberation, which makes our self-surrender to the transcendent, to surrender to a new consciousness that leads us to complete perfection? Editing requires good judgement. How to evaluate each scene experienced without watching the full movie?

Furthermore, one must remember that there is time and eternity. The measurable and the immeasurable. At what time do they meet?

Every day, we are all dragged along by the line we create: a line of no return, finite and deadly. Memory records the past, imagination peeks into the future. And us, we stay in the middle.

Suddenly, watering the garden, a glint of water on a petal opens up a universe. “Butterflies and birds take flight: cloud of flowers” (Bashô) (1). The scintillation is in the air, in seconds. Impossible to capture. The movie of life runs by, in the projector of time. We want to stop the movement, to stop life forever in that frame. Impossible.

Tired, I return to my usual life. The garden is still there, the drop of water has already flown, the petal has bent and fallen onto the bench in the sun and my thoughts wander between memories and plans. I feel the sun on my skin, animal that I am.

That instant passed so quickly that, distracted, I forgot.

Freed from memory and tired of being able to make concrete plans, I empty myself. Animal in the sun.

The unthinkable catches up with me again. It only arrives when, distracted, I forget. There is no thought, no feeling, no reaction. At that moment, I forgot about myself and am distracted from the world, I am not. “I’m nothing. I will never be anything. I can’t want to be anything. Apart from that, I have all the dreams of the world in me”, says Álvaro de Campos-Pessoa.

The sacred is secret, it is secret. It is reserved and confidential. It is an inner mystery, a seal. It is what separates the divine world from the human world. But it is also what unites them. That unspeakable, ineffable instant opens an almost imperceptible gap. But there is no idea, no image, no sound. Only energy of another nature from another timeless time, from a placeless place, from another light.

In the templar silence of my closed eyes, turned inwards, flutter light, formless feeling-thoughts. There is nothing and there is everything.

When I return to the here and now of the garden, the memories come back. The voice of Álvaro de Campos resounds, demanding from him, the metaphysical, the practical reality: “Take advantage of the time! But what is the time that I take advantage of?” (2)

The pragmatic shock falls like lead on the gold of the sacred. And I ask myself: what is awakening?

Once again I awake in the past. A poem I wrote when I was 18 already showed me that, in “reality” (after all, what is real?), life is nothing more than 5 minutes, at most.


When life stops,

when the image does not fly,

when the anguish of the look

and the confidence of the smile

become static, 

When the photographer’s bird in the square

spreads its wings in a placid flight,

when the light gesture stops,

when the tear stays,

and the Being palpitates,

the portrait of Life is ready.


The poem is a little melancholic, but true. It certainly did not capture the sacred that was there, invisible and silent.

Fernando Pessoa (2) once said: “to feel is to be distracted”.

It’s just that the sacred instant is a luminous point between the flow of time and the eternally static.

That is why Paulo Leminski (3) wrote so many haikais, became a multimedia poet and said: “only yesterday I invited a friend to stay silent with me”.

Yes. We need to silence together. Thus, perhaps, between the daily routine and the transcendent impulse, “Distracted We Will Win!”, as Leminski said in the title of one of his books.



(1) Frade, Gustavo e Carranza, Ricardo: in Twelve Poems from Matsuo Bashô, Revista Arquitetura + Arte, vol. 20(1), Ed. Arquitetura + Arte, Juiz de Fora, 2020

(2) Pessoa, Fernando: Poetries by Álvaro de Campos, Ed. Ática, Lisboa, 1944

(3) Leite, Elizabeth Rocha: Leminski: The Poet of the Difference, Ed. EDUSP, São Paulo, 2012.



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Date: July 29, 2023
Author: Group of LOGON authors (Brazil)
Photo: by Reflex_Production from Pixabay

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