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Showing posts from November, 2018

Nepalese Notebook: September 8th, 2014

September 8th, 2014

Chitwan

Chitwan: the Nepalese Terai, the land of the Tharu.  These are the lowlands of the Himalaya, a vast jungle filled with rhinos, tigers, and crocodiles, interspersed with the irrigated fields of the natives.  From Kathmandu it is a 5 hours bus ride along narrow and sometimes precipitous roads in which the drivers take every advantage of passing one another regardless of blind curves or the stories of overturned buses only days before.  And yet the driving is not reckless; for when you see your driver passing another bus without any hope of gauging a head-on collision, you are able to find in his unshakeability a small comfort, knowing that the danger he has put you in, he may now save you from, as he swerves back with amazing dexterity only seconds before another bus would have brought upon your ruin. This is only one of the shocks though; the city of Kathmandu itself holds more than one could ever imagine; danger becomes no more than an inability to understan…

A Poet's Journal: November 1st, 2013

November 1st, 2013


On this, the day of souls, I was lead by an unknown urge to take up Taylor's Holy Dying, and enamored by the purity of style and expansive learning, I have yet been able to put it down.  Only yesterday had I started an article on the Algonquin Feast of the Dead, and it is with the greatest pleasure that everything since has been enveloped by the stillness of thought.  Eternal glory and eternal doom and the run of faith have all but instilled themselves in the habit of mind, and it is with difficulty that we find ourselves upsetting them in merely going about our daily lives.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 28th, 2013

October 28th, 2013

In the last moments of sleep this morning a treatise came before my dreaming mind upon the subject of certainty and uncertainty and how we were to distinguish each in our modern world.  The beginning was admirable and had such a sober confidence to it that the rest of the work seemed to take energy from it, but upon waking, my recollection of all the arguments vanished.  It is often quite befuddling to think upon those things we neglect and to ask ourselves the meaning.  For to remain at the beck and call of the mind forces us to consider what kind of person we shall be, whereas if we did not, we would always dream and soon forget that the kind of person we are is bound to the appearance of what we neglect.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 25th, 2013

October 25th, 2013

Found a pair of goat horns on the trail today so massive and weather-beaten as to make one think of an old satyr bounding across ridges and hiding in the crevices of mountains.  All the hawthorn berries have gone from the trees, but the holly vibrantly red, for the two seem not to grow far from each other in these parts.  A resin taken from a pine of some sort a few days ago has finally tempted me to chew on it, and the texture, like a soft candy at first, soon turns to the consistency of gum, but the flavor lasts longer and is much more agreeable.  The south wind has died down after two extremely windy days, and somewhat cooler; the fish flash against the bottom of the river at low tide.  Low, slanted sun-rays--a wonderful, autumnal feel to the day.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 23rd, 2013

October 23rd, 2013

Reading is never so great as when it is inherent in the other senses of the body.  What I mean is, there is often a music echoing around us, for the most part cumbersome and annoying, but never far from mixing with our tasks, so that what had started in a bitter dissonance of thought, now draws us into an unexpected world of confirmation.  In the hours of reading this music begins to draw away, leaving the words to settle upon the dying rhythm, and finding entrance into the story, gives a clear and distinct voice to the path of imagination, only then opening the inevitable charms of the work before us.
Douglas Thornton