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Showing posts from April, 2022

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

Nature Within And Without

  Nature Within And Without In an old chronicle a Shawnee Indian was recorded as saying the landscape that was overtaking his native land was artificial.  For the longest time I believed he meant that nothing was instilled with mystery; the unknown had became lost.  I always thought that this was the way to look at things, trying to find what was ancient or unremembered in the ever changing present.  Sometimes we look no further when a piece of advice is clear and endearing, and so I deplored what this man had deplored only because I respected what he said.  The starting point of someone else's unhappiness is usually the beginning of our own.  We suffer in unison and feel attached because we have taken up another's opinion, reinforcing it with our own distinctions.  After searching for so long and believing everything around me was artificial, that no true landscape existed, I looked back upon that Shawnee from long ago and found that he was not speaking of the outside world. 

Hearing With The Eyes, Seeing With The Ears

  Hearing With The Eyes, Seeing With The Ears The more eloquently we are able to describe an idea, the more truthful our feelings become; the more truthfully we convey this to someone else, the more we find meaning in it.  There is the story of two people walking in the mountains, and as one of them was taken up with the amazing scenery, commenting on all the views that he saw, and the sensations these views inspired in him, he noticed his friend ever silent, walking along with head down, only furtively looking up from time to time.  Exasperated, the friend finally says to him, 'But you haven't even looked at any of these beautiful sights!  Are you not touched by these mountains?'  Whereon the friend replied, 'Yes I am, but it is a shame to try and speak about them.'  The truth lies behind the thing we think most evident; it makes it as far as the eyes and vanishes with an echo in the ears; half a sentence is sometimes too much or a whole page not enough.  In the en