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Showing posts from January, 2021

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: January 26th, 2015

  January 26th, 2015 For more than a week now I have set my mind on hiking, but have found some reason or other to deter me.  The chance of rain, cold weather, transportation, even the tiniest detail as what to take, have turned this self-inflicted obligation in to an inexpressible joy, not because they allowed me to go, but because the circumstances seemed viable enough to prevent me.  It is often the idea of expectation that is so frightening, but those of the physical world are so much easier to confront; for it is the imagination of what we expect, and what we think it will be like, that is the most damaging to our state of mind.  All of our actions are simple and clear-cut, but it is only when we reflect on how to deal with them that they become confusing; our problem arises in believing there is a standard to be attained, that there is something that we must figure out how to use.  Of course it is hard to deny this standard, or any standard, because it is reproduced countless tim

A Poet's Journal: January 15th, 2015

  January 15th, 2015 Sharpened my knives today; it is fulfilling to see them cut clean and though it is useless to continue working them, it always seems they could still be sharper.  There is nothing better than knowing a job has been done well and nothing more terrifying than believing you could have done more.  The place at which we find someone of great measure, who knows when things are done, and leaves them to be when there is nothing wrong with them, is no larger than the edge of a blade; and once this blade becomes dull the surface widens imperceptibly, but enough to leave us wavering in our judgement.  The problem is we have no stone on which to grind our thoughts and must merely live in the world, letting the events that pass by evoke a certain means to refine our vision.  We are not always right, our eye is not always penetrating, but the world is always so.  If we can get to the bottom of things without being burdened by the dullness of past action or future involvement, th