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Showing posts from February, 2018

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: February 3rd, 2013 (With Audio)

February 3rd, 2013

For the first time in some months I am confident in my path and linger not upon doubt.  Those creatures of thought heard in the solitudes of the forest no longer need a name, but are somehow understood, and should I put my finger upon the sounds of distant words, they become recognizable purely because of utterance.  Giving life and finding sureness in the dark, is a compassion unlooked for, but so very well at home, that we almost too swiftly set out again before we have enjoyed the full comforts of that most intimate moment.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: January 26th, 2013 (With Audio)

January 26th, 2013

We must constantly be set in some direction lest our preoccupations fall within a mode of importance that bind us to an obligation which does not serve our purpose or present state of mind.  Yet this is hard to define at any given moment, and though we are contemplative, our thinking mostly consists in reflections on variously changing subjects.  If we could let ourselves be pulled into the center and perfect intention of our art, the reconciliation of life as we see it in reality, and the wisdom for which we aim, would not be so difficult.  But as it is, the effort is divided and we must learn to let go.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: January 8th, 2013 (With Audio)

January 8th, 2013

Today, Tuesday, sun all day; feel the days getting longer.  The slightest variation in light is perceptible only by the way in which it hits certain objects.  To the eye, we may notice morning, evening, and noon, by taking into account the incline of the sun, but as for our earth moving in its orbit and the light growing longer or brighter on the hills or the walls of our homes, that feeling and that change is lost unless we take minutious observation of our daily surroundings.  Light, by contrast, is a transformation of the understanding of the inexplicable; it enlightens but does not clarify our perceptions, and even though it is to make the day longer, it is not a privilege granted for our comfort.  Though the object then may help us see, it makes us turn our backs to that which we really want to know, and so the languor and discomfort of these ever-widening days is a burden and something careful to be shrugged off.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: November 15th, 2012 (With Audio)

November 15th, 2012

Hiked on the 10th; mushroom hunting and the first cepe de Bordeaux I've ever found.  Those places where the mushroom lives and sprouts up excite me; for they are on the most unnoticeable part of ground and give importance to a spot that we would have briefly looked over in any other circumstance.  It is perhaps a meditation on nature; the robin, the squirrel, and even the deer are apt to cross our path, and still other birds, or the tracks of unknown animals, and though the mushroom still sits in the back of our mind, we anticipate an encounter with something far less known, and going into the underbrush, or pushing aside dead leaves, enlightens a conscious courage that is almost as ancient as it is foreign to our daily lives.  He certainly who finds what he's looking for has always been searching for something else.
Douglas Thornton