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Showing posts from March, 2019

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: January 19th, 2014

January 19th, 2014

That I have been insensible to my surroundings would concern me more if I did not overlook them with the sort of scrutiny similar to one who is in a position to let them go.  This mature reservation to be impressed by those things I was inept to rely upon, and take for word what had not been experienced, nor submitted to any critical evaluation, has brought forth a realization, that over some point in these last few months, my life has changed, and I am no longer the one I used to know.  Should I search no more and be content with this truth, though for most it would hardly be satisfactory, would nonetheless be a reason to stay on guard against the discriminations of my recent and melancholic error of loving poetry too much.
For I cannot help but see this as being much deplored, and forever in the wrong, until that moment the result coincides with the perfect expression of our reality, and all of our shortcomings and all of our insensitivities become a quick sigh of…

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

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