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Showing posts from December, 2017

The Art of Memory

  The Art of Memory When we can traverse the plains of memory, stopping at each fire to warm ourselves before we start again on our journey, there is a world inside a world that keeps going on to infinity.  If we are lucky enough to hear the eternal melody that is at work in these moments, many fine hours may come upon us.   But sometimes the solace and hospitality are too much and we live with our new found companions, taking them along wherever we go, as a shadow upon our eyes.  The memories of Thoreau, or the early frontier narratives of Indian captivity, are something that I have felt eternal and unchangeable in human nature, not for any piece of information they have given me, but because my melancholy has always found peace in their environment.  For some the world is old or the world is new, but the point is that we tend to look at it through memory.  One memorable event confounds all future celebrations; we remember so as not to forget, but we do not remember that we are able t

A Poet's Journal: October 2nd, 2012 (Audio)

October 2nd, 2012 What is it that we conceal when we look towards ideal moments? What appears to us comes as part of a world that we can only vaguely conceive, but one in which we imagine a whole set of circumstances, accomplishing this or that with greater or lesser conviction until we arrive at some culminating point where perfection is grasped for just a moment. And yet we know that if something perfect must exist it is only because imperfection exists and the whole way unto the ideal is a series of sufferings. But we must not consider through all our pains there will bloom within us an everlasting peace; for just as a door and four walls may lead us to expect shelter, the rain may still come in. When it happens though, when we find entrance into a warm and inviting home, the essence of that ideal is always hard to grasp and we despair over the contrast of perception and imagination only to turn upon that thing that was always concealed within us and within the event. It is st

A Poet's Journal: September 29th, 2012 (Free Audio Reading)

September 29th, 2012 To be heroic in this world, one must be prepared to ask, 'What if?'  And the answer that he shall always receive will be, 'Either...  Or.....'  However, I do not mean this to sound as if one must take his lessons directly from the philosopher's mouth; I rather mean that his decision should not escape him in that vital moment.  Nor should this be taken all the way to the extreme of single-mindedness, lest the mountain feel its own avalanche and not stand firm enough against it.  Thus, the inheritance of our whole future comes with a sign over it that says: know thyself.  But the currency of this expression is no longer the reason for which we rise from bed, so that our curiosity has given up on the abstract, and that only where we see the light will we let ourselves be guided.  What was for us once a question is now an answer wherefrom we move away and cry out in longing, 'What if?' Douglas Thornton