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Saturday, February 13, 2010


Today I was thinking of the English word 'glimpse', its French equivalent 'entrevoir' and the Bulgarian 'zyrvam'. For some reason I like this word very much as it seems to me that it is charged with mystery. It must be so because of the its fleeting nature.

What comes to my mind is a day on a beach in Bulgaria. I must have been 2-3 years old and while waiting for my mother to get out from the women changing room the door opens and I had a glimpse of a naked woman for the first time in my life. What was its impact on me if I still remember this...

Two days ago while walking in Brussels I had a glimpse of the Grande Place bathed in sun under falling sun, the gilded facade of the townhall shining. Some minutes later this moment had gone.

Maybe around a year ago I discovered a song by George Brassens which is called Les Passantes with lyrics by the poet Pol Antoine. It is a beautiful song charged with glimpses of happiness. A verse reads:

Mais si l'on a manqué sa vie
On songe avec un peu d'envie
A tous ces bonheurs entrevus

If we failed our lives
We dream with a bit of sadness
of all past glimpses of happiness.

One of the explanations of the great value of those moments is economic. They are in such short supply that the price goes up. The other explanation is that these glimpses are openings to other worlds which remain undiscovered, promises that remain unfulfilled. These glimpses may take numerous forms: the words of a friend, the morning light over the sea, a girl you've once met on the train (as in Pol Antoine's Les Passantes), a burst of laughter and lightness that can hopefully persist and resist the tediousness of days.