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Showing posts from October, 2018

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 21st, 2013

October 21st, 2013 The 18th showed the leaf-changing moon full, rising directly in front of the window.  It foretold of its appearance with a golden glare upon the horizon for some time before it crept little by little into sight.  The comparison of its movement with the terrestrial objects which it glowed against showed how far and how fast it moved, though imperceptible to casual glance, and gave in itself a great and delirious effect to the size of the earth. The 19th was ripe for mushrooms and also stocked up on chestnuts, a savor with which I have recently become enamored, but this year's crop seems to be of meagerness, as had been the blackberries, unless it be my negligence.  A flock of cranes came through in the evening and some at rest in the bay, and still more flocks of pigeons fleeing the sound of the hunter's gun, which fills the morning hours.  The song-birds are in groups as well, hard to distinguish because of their ever distant and rapid flight.  A tr

A Poet's Journal: October 17th, 2013

October 17th, 2013 There is something serene in long uninterrupted meditation, which in return, changes the world from harsh fact to silent poetry, and every piece of space where the eyes once fell in languor, now holds hope in anticipation of bringing forth words.  But just as the words we speak will be forgotten moments later, the shelter in to which we have placed all of our wisdom becomes the most difficult, and just as well the most revealing, part that lies beyond our reasonable comprehension.  Our journey to it is put off, our forces wane or lose motivation, and finally it is relegated to what is only immediately useful.  We find a semblance of simplicity behind the chimera of keeping ourselves occupied that it is soon only in running around that worth instills itself into what we have, and so the difficulty of poetry, which asks for nothing.  The one who finds again this haven is he who, in the gowns of disdain, will have suffered the insanity of his thoughts to come to

A Poet's Journal: October 15th, 2013

October 15th, 2013 To take pleasure in the outcome of the work has encompassed all my thoughts as of late, which means that I may give with leisure what I had only attempted in anxiety.  Through thought and in reading the thoughts of those before us, we gather ourselves from the world, but only of an amount sufficient, and compiled over so many days, that when we begin to embody it, it has already been called a waste of time. Only now am I reminded that a couple of weeks ago, on a particularly stormy day, had I come home and seen from the window off to the south, the evening sky aglow with a vast display of continual lightning.  The static motion of the light, reflecting against the tall thundering clouds, brought out such a depth and internal fulfillment, that the sky faded into a darkness almost coeval with my curiosity, and left their dwelling to the random illumination of some far off void. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 14th, 2013

October 14th, 2013 A flock of pigeons flew over today and I watched with great interest.  For it is a rare sight to see such a large grouping of birds and true as it is that the cranes and egrets can grow abundant, they are rather spread out over the sky, whereas the pigeons remain close together, in no certain form but what the wind or fancy may push them towards, which is why it is all the more impressive to witness.  From a distance they are a nondescript mass, now reflecting, now contrasting the light in the sky, until literally, they turn on the wing and become invisible.  Yet they are not fleeting, for the same flock may circle above the hills or across the ridge for hours, afraid to land because of the sound of the hunter's gun, though it is only to their own detriment that they amuse us, such that it is the same in one's heart to keep abreast of the struggle, not to brave the truth, but to lend ourselves to another's excitement. Douglas Thornton