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Nepalese Notebook: September 25th, 2014

September 25th, 2014Besi Sahar 760m.
You never expect it, but the high mountains soon give way to the low, and the day comes when it is cloudy and humid and easy to forget what is near.  Everything simply disappears without importance, and even if we believe in it, have seen it with our own eyes and accept it wholeheartedly, the lapse is too great, change is too certain, and what was once a thousand year old glacier is now the fountain you drink out of.  Now it is only a busy little Nepalese town where colorful buses pass, where street vendors and shops remind you of the growing indifference of what had once seemed normal, and a fleeting sense of accomplishment gives way to restlessness.  Could we have done more?  Having the trek over is short-lived, and looking back upon the hardships of the trail reminds one of a melancholic sort of comfort that creates new adventures and even more hardships before the time it takes your muscles to recuperate from the previous journey.  Pushing onese…

A Poet's Journal: April 12th, 2013 Part 1

April 12th, 2013 Part 1


I can think of no problem these last few days that does not take all my concern and energy, yet it be no present worry; for it is the intimacy of present concern which is relaxing, though it be ever so troubling.  But I see not in this a resignation to fate, in which case I take for granted every outcome; rather, the amount of time the problem takes is a refuge for importance and the line of action taken, and this is what most consider a job well done. There are, however, choices which occupy a great part of my time, which to most seem no reason to doubt: I have spent half the morning deciding if and when I should take a shower and half the evening preparing a walk that never comes to focus--for it is simply in this kind of world, about these sort of things, that neither decision matters.  It is, of course, only through true moments of clarity that my personal appearance becomes enjoyable. We may weigh every option and cede to any fate, but we all search for, …

A Poet's Journal: March 4th, 2013

March 4th, 2013

Whether we are brave or vulnerable, the world is so.  For it is easy to believe that the earth upon which we stand is a playground for our hearts, but then we are no better than a harsh reply to an honest question posed long ago.  'What do you think?' the earth seems to say when we find a bit of solitude in nature.  And how often do we reply with a description of the trees, the birds, and the flowing creek, and then tell them how we feel; or yet do we run off into some activity in hopes that an answer will soon come upon us, because thinking, at times, seems counterproductive.  But it is here I find that this question comes not from the earth, but me, and my reply, the way the world tries to speak--for it is always in constant reply to us.  The problem, however, is to find out which question we have posed.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: March 1st, 2013

March 1st, 2013

The first responsibilities ever given us always hold in memory a special charm and seem as if to have happened while we were facing the sun.  It was then that we could know our own thoughts and persist with determination in our ignorance.  This is something age comes to take for granted, desiring to shade inexperience when it believes our first responsibility no longer, so that everything else becomes proper and congenial to its attitude.  And though it may be nonetheless true that our experience has grown past the naive importance of youth, there is something left behind and secondary to our maturity.  We have forgotten the primitive state of what it is to call things what they simply are, but in naming them so, only see what we have known and not what we have thought about them.  The first act of putting a halter on a horse, or buckling the saddle, or rubbing down its legs, holds something which is lost when the task becomes familiar.  We forget, when we finally see…

A Poet's Journal: February 28th, 2013

February 28th, 2013

I do not know if falcons are around all year and if they are, they certainly do not take to the sky as often, but when they do, it is on sunny days because they are a sign of mild weather.  It is the newborn flight of their young that indicates a change of season, whereon we should greet the sun urgently; and it is their hovering over high meadows that gives confidence to a long day out of doors.  I have always associated both the sun and the falcon together, and though we are affected the same way to rise up into the light when waking again to the vibrant rays and cool air of morning, we nevertheless, when they are in unison, seek them morally.
It is amazing how a fine day may make itself felt through the seasons, so that the crisp dawn of spring is something that warms the gentle hours of winter; or it is even true that the phenomenon itself of wind or rain resemble in appearance those of another time and give us to reminisce on the spirit thereof, that it seems…

A Poet's Journal: February 21st, 2013 (With Audio)

February 21st, 2013

The relation that we have to the appearance and formation of thought is something nonetheless worth taking note of.  The occurrence of any one thing is fated to leave us in a moment from which our perceptions and our ideals form the totality of its meaning.  The wake of the realization and not the realization itself is what we find ourselves contemplating.  If someone has ever searched for anything in their lives, they know what this means: until one part of that object, or the object as a whole is seen, they may not notice that it is right under their hands; but when it is noticed, they shall find that what they have taken hold of, has already in some ways been grasped.
Douglas Thornton