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A Poet's Journal: January 9th, 2014

January 9th, 2014

All existing things change and we wonder what is real.  Is it what we see in front of us?  That which we believe?  That which is rare or incredible?  It is often that what seems to have the least reality ends up defining our sternest belief.  The exotic animal, a foreign landscape, anything that is outside of what we understand as normal, is to us the missing link for what is and should be.  Anything new, anything most recent in time, that is the truth by which the world must move; and though we do not prescribe to all of it, and in some cases prefer that which is old and ancient, there is nonetheless an indescribable desire for what is unique.  And yet it is only through this unique creativity that disdain comes from what is different--for reality, at last, is the recognition of what is outside of us, and there is the terrible misfortune that through all things we recognize ourselves.
Douglas Thornton
Recent posts

A Poet's Journal: December 11th, 2013

December 11th, 2013

The sharpness of reality is never the kindness we make it out to be: once found in the habit of our surroundings, it languishes, changing that which was thought unchangeable.  Sometimes we fall asleep; sometimes our eyes are only closed; and still at others, we awake in the night to find that it was only a dream.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: December 4th, 2013

December 4th, 2013


The Meditations of Aurelius and the Essais of Montaigne have, for the last couple years, been my entrance into the world of awakening.  Not often do I finish a sentence--and more than likely in the middle of one--than my mind goes wandering forth through the faint realities of ancient times, not as I believe them to have been, but as they will one day be fulfilled.  I know but very little of what they truly speak, and cannot recite anything by the product of memory, but the smallest suggestion from even the most meaningless word, should it come at the right time, is enough to clarify the rest of their thought.  When it comes to this, we find there is little that needs to be said from the pages of a hundred books, and true understanding may be the offspring of a casual thought; but were it not to exist, then neither would the visions of a perceptive mind, and also our need of holding on to it.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: November 26th, 2013

November 26th, 2013

Some wither, some have the barest trace, and others are just beginning: this is the state of the autumn trees at the moment.  This is, however, not very interesting to know, but the value lies in recognition.  We may use the same language to describe people as well, but if we do not know their momentum; if we do not perceive the movement of their spirit from the outward motion of their bodies, it touches us not even if we had the knowledge of ten thousand men in front of us.  We open ourselves to the reality and the possibility of knowing something through appearance or intended purpose, but take as a sign for understanding the familiarity it brings to our own ideas.  Yet to know something is to respond to it, just as the colour of the sky responds to the inclination of the sun; for we are all speaking even if we pronounce not the slightest word, but it is only those who answer us that we care to talk to--and so it is with the autumn trees.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: November 21st, 2013

November 21st, 2013

It is unfortunate to see idleness as negative; for it is a rare thing for one to admit that staring at a wall can bring our livelihood to its ultimate goal, and it is of no concern of ours with what way we occupy our time, as long as we can account for it and produce facts against the contrary.  Do your duty and live well, most of us will say, and the common turn of solitude shall withhold its obligations.  But there is an august reflection in all this: that we are far from ourselves when we would be most intimate, and the idleness we look upon with such offensive gaze, the dearest part of our most successful activity.
Douglas Thornton