I pay attention to the backs of the little boxes of matches manufactured by a company called La Perla, S.A. de C.V. Sometimes there are tiny reproductions of great Mexican paintings there. Other times there are quotations from the works of great writers on the back. For example, yesterday I encountered this from Aristotle on the back of a box of matches:
La esperanza es un sueño despierto.
I translate that as “Hope is a waking dream.” I do not know the context of it. Standing alone it is not uplifting.
Today’s quotation from the back of another box of matches was a dandy though:
La muerte es una vida vivida. La vida es una muerte que viene.
I translate that as, “Death is a life lived. Life is a death that is coming.” There is no attribution following it. Therefore, I suspect that it is an old folk adage, and nobody knows who first said it.
There is something endearing to me about a culture in which that is put on the back of a box of matches. I am still accustomed for the most part to encountering only inspirational bromides here and there from suits with wading pool minds advising me on how to achieve as they have and so take my rightful place among all the other big time citizen-consumers, too.