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Showing posts from December, 2017

A Poet's Journal: June 30th, 2014

June 30th, 2014

A 4-day hike in the Basque Mountains

Lying low upon the ground, breathing in the night air, and awakening to a slight chill, though it is the middle of summer, is enough for the body to regain its vitality.  It would be easy here for the mind to leave its thoughts to the scattered mist, but even if we tell ourselves that an unfettered freedom lies before us upon the trail, there is always something of our nagging and mundane lives following.  The contrast is too simple for us not to notice, and instead of feeling enlivened by it, there is the realization that we have not yet broken free from it all, but neither have we decided what we want to break free from.
A constellation arose on the door of our tent at night, and following it, the first rays of sun spread through our damp affairs with the enduring scent of heat--all of it though matters not unless one can see the place and the meaning it gives to his onward movements.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 2nd, 2012 (Audio)

October 2nd, 2012

What is it that we conceal when we look towards ideal moments? What appears to us comes as part of a world that we can only vaguely conceive, but one in which we imagine a whole set of circumstances, accomplishing this or that with greater or lesser conviction until we arrive at some culminating point where perfection is grasped for just a moment. And yet we know that if something perfect must exist it is only because imperfection exists and the whole way unto the ideal is a series of sufferings. But we must not consider through all our pains there will bloom within us an everlasting peace; for just as a door and four walls may lead us to expect shelter, the rain may still come in. When it happens though, when we find entrance into a warm and inviting home, the essence of that ideal is always hard to grasp and we despair over the contrast of perception and imagination only to turn upon that thing that was always concealed within us and within the event. It is still …

A Poet's Journal: September 29th, 2012 (Free Audio Reading)

September 29th, 2012

To be heroic in this world, one must be prepared to ask, 'What if?'  And the answer that he shall always receive will be, 'Either...  Or.....'  However, I do not mean this to sound as if one must take his lessons directly from the philosopher's mouth; I rather mean that his decision should not escape him in that vital moment.  Nor should this be taken all the way to the extreme of single-mindedness, lest the mountain feel its own avalanche and not stand firm enough against it.  Thus, the inheritance of our whole future comes with a sign over it that says: know thyself.  But the currency of this expression is no longer the reason for which we rise from bed, so that our curiosity has given up on the abstract, and that only where we see the light will we let ourselves be guided.  What was for us once a question is now an answer wherefrom we move away and cry out in longing, 'What if?'
Douglas Thornton