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Reflecting Thought

  There is often little time for reflection though the hours never cease to pile up.  Much is thought of, many things are remembered, but little is reflected upon.  There is a difference between thinking and reflecting; one of them presents a plan or an image, which is transformed according to feeling, or exterior phenomena that seeks an end, or a means to an end; the other is the transformation of thought without end, it simply looks, it watches the worry come and go, plans arise and finish.  When you step back from a wall, you can see how high it is, but when you are very close, you must grasp onto something because there is no way to see where you are.  So reflecting is a way to stand back and see how far the thought goes, while thinking holds to the thought as long as it wants.  Reflection shows that thoughts do not control you, while thinking always seeks a thought to control. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: November 1st, 2013

November 1st, 2013 On this, the day of souls, I was lead by an unknown urge to take up Taylor's Holy Dying , and enamored by the purity of style and expansive learning, I have yet been able to put it down.  Only yesterday had I started an article on the Algonquin Feast of the Dead, and it is with the greatest pleasure that everything since has been enveloped by the stillness of thought.  Eternal glory and eternal doom and the run of faith have all but instilled themselves in the habit of mind, and it is with difficulty that we find ourselves upsetting them in merely going about our daily lives. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 28th, 2013

October 28th, 2013 In the last moments of sleep this morning a treatise came before my dreaming mind upon the subject of certainty and uncertainty and how we were to distinguish each in our modern world.  The beginning was admirable and had such a sober confidence to it that the rest of the work seemed to take energy from it, but upon waking, my recollection of all the arguments vanished.  It is often quite befuddling to think upon those things we neglect and to ask ourselves the meaning.  For to remain at the beck and call of the mind forces us to consider what kind of person we shall be, whereas if we did not, we would always dream and soon forget that the kind of person we are is bound to the appearance of what we neglect. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 25th, 2013

October 25th, 2013 Found a pair of goat horns on the trail today so massive and weather-beaten as to make one think of an old satyr bounding across ridges and hiding in the crevices of mountains.  All the hawthorn berries have gone from the trees, but the holly vibrantly red, for the two seem not to grow far from each other in these parts.  A resin taken from a pine of some sort a few days ago has finally tempted me to chew on it, and the texture, like a soft candy at first, soon turns to the consistency of gum, but the flavor lasts longer and is much more agreeable.  The south wind has died down after two extremely windy days, and somewhat cooler; the fish flash against the bottom of the river at low tide.  Low, slanted sun-rays--a wonderful, autumnal feel to the day. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 23rd, 2013

October 23rd, 2013 Reading is never so great as when it is inherent in the other senses of the body.  What I mean is, there is often a music echoing around us, for the most part cumbersome and annoying, but never far from mixing with our tasks, so that what had started in a bitter dissonance of thought, now draws us into an unexpected world of confirmation.  In the hours of reading this music begins to draw away, leaving the words to settle upon the dying rhythm, and finding entrance into the story, gives a clear and distinct voice to the path of imagination, only then opening the inevitable charms of the work before us. Douglas Thornton

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