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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: May 13th, 2013

May 13th, 2013

The sickness and disease with which our constitutions must struggle have, I believe, given rise to those phantoms and evil spirits that we have conjured to exist and have empire over our actions.  A slow analysis of the mind will show us that with the oncoming of a cold our mood will shift and our opinions change, so that we may freely believe ourselves possessed, whether it be of a physical or mental state.  For our definitions and portrayals of these spirits work in conjunction with our modern-day microbes, and that there are good and bad microbes our medicinal science will fully attest. Thus that spirits exist I could most certainly believe, for the name has become something other than what we know it by today: our term lends more to our scientific mind than our Christian or folkloric mythology would have us think.  But I have heard it said as well that everything animate and inanimate has a soul, knowing that our perception is merely the false eye with which we see…

A Poet's Journal: May 6th, 2013

May 6th, 2013

After a long day or a long week of struggling with ourselves, we come to the conclusion that beauty is in thought, and from this our highest expression.  No special memory or treasured moment, but it is the perception of movement in the unseen realm of impossibility; nor is it called beauty, but only felt, for it is a part of our own initiation.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: April 18th, 2013

April 18th, 2013

There are many situations and ideas, even of the simplest sort, to which we cannot give a name, and find ourselves at the end of our reason before the understanding of it has brought us any favor.  It is amusing to note how often they come upon us, and in our efforts to find something as simple as the word spoon, when it has slipped our mind, we digress into soups and stews before we find ourselves being fed through a straw.  For if the person next to us can perceive and name the object in front of him, he is having a good day, and may even be able to give a reason as to why he shaves. But misunderstanding people is for most of us a common nature.  We speak the full extent of our minds upon their situation and their motives before they have said something that truly reveals their character.  It is an educated guess, some of us say, but if we are biased in that way, we have not been taught otherwise.  I perceive objects as they are placed before me and use the informa…

A Poet's Journal: April 12th, 2013 Part 3

April 12th, 2013 Part 3

The shifting of powers, that is, the way in which daily life changes when it comes into contact with other influences such as culture and politics, but most of all pressure of friends and of society, is the greatest force with which we must struggle if we are ever to understand clarity and where it comes from.  And since it is not by desire that we come to it, nor reflection upon our actions and their effects upon others, but by release, meaning the kind of importance found in any particular situation or problem, then it is of the utmost necessity to measure kindness in action and fear in thought, so that we may not fall too easily into our own slumbers and walk too harshly upon the substance that bears us.  Our preoccupations do not change, only their focus, and doubt never wholly diminishes until it finds in discretion a sturdy friend. For the cause of our havoc is finding ourselves too eager to understand why we suffer in the first place.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: April 12th, 2013 Part 2

April 12th, 2013 Part 2

Let it not be inferred that reasoning or any frame of logic be useless; rather, reasoning and logic do not at all times pertain to significance; and if there were a way that something could exist, and constantly catch our eye, so that we were aware of its becoming, though no change to us appeared, we would not need proof to tell us what our eyes had already seen. But before we know it, the truly taxing method of our lives has been prepared: the day becomes divided up according to our or another's need, or the nourishment of mind and body, and then of slumber, and we have not seen anything but the far-fetched and constant repetition of daily life. It is such a strange phrase 'daily life' and so hard to define, yet I think it not too different for any one of us to answer its questions, so much so that our concern almost wholly lies not with its particulars, but with the stress of living up to that phrase alone.  Long ago we had our rituals and sacred…