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Showing posts from July, 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

The Abyss of Experience

  The Abyss of Experience Sometimes living, or the life we undertake, is no more than a dream of the past.  One day we arise with some wonderful plan, work towards it, look at its many aspects, then realize it is not possible, and try to forget, but its momentum is still there.  How often has such an event, a moment of deep regret, or a moment of overwhelming joy, affected the way something in the future is reacted to?  We are in a bad mood and so everyone else must suffer; we are happy and everyone else smiles back.  Life is an ongoing series compiled one upon the other, interacting, falling away, creating new outcomes, but binding them all into a habituated pattern.  Yet there comes a moment when we really try to work out that wonderful plan, really try to experience it for all it is worth, but somehow we always come up short, or indeed approximate it with something we have already experienced.  The new path around the mountain is interspersed with memories of the old, however neithe

The Last Remaining Tree

  The Last Remaining Tree Where does interest come from?  The infinity of choice is often so heavy that likes and dislikes are not concerned with well-being, but are the passing of the wind through the leaves of a tree.  Sometimes a leaf falls off, a branch breaks, or the tree is overturned itself, but the wind is still blowing.  There is much that comes through us, much that may rip us apart, or knock us over, but that is because the wind has never ceased to blow.  Everything wants to be uncovered, room must be made for new leaves to bloom, new branches to sprout, and new trees to grow; even a slight breeze may help the new sapling strengthen its roots and trunk.  But there is often a wonderful aura that remains around the tree no longer bothered by the wind.  Perhaps we do not need new trees, but the old ones to grow with the wisdom it takes to remain firm. Douglas Thornton