Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A DROP IN THE OCEAN
It rained all day today for the first good yard flooding soak since early spring. The gardens were islands in a lake and as I watched the continuous rain rings spread to intersect others I reexperienced a metaphor my genetic memory must have strong resonance with because, more than any natural phenomenon, observing water gives my chaotic thoughts timeless perspective.
Rather than begin the umpteenth sentence on an inspirational thought only to have it spiral down into the energy drain the depressing specifics of the current political situation always seem to leech, I’m gonna go as close to academic as I care to get by using only quotes of authorities uninterrupted by more than bullets saving all the annoying references until the end in the same order as quoted. Like everything I write in this blog, what has gone before is all I have to build with. Like rain drops falling on the surface of the lake the yard has become these ideas radiate in overlapping rings that resonate to the depths of my immediate concerns with the salve of timeless wisdom —
“If there is a look of human eyes that tells of perpetual loneliness, so there is also the familiar look that is the sign of perpetual crowds. • I was never less alone than when by myself. • The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. • The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. • The first man to see an illusion by which men have flourished for centuries surely stands in a lonely place. • A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.
• You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. • The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger. • The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself. • I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. • In this age, the mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. • Don't wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day.
• And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. • Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. • An effective human being is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. • To know how to say what others only know how to think is what makes men poets or sages; and to dare to say what others only dare to think makes men martyrs or reformers - or both. • My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast. • It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it.
• When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? • Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? • A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. • The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
— Alice Meynell, "Solitude"
— Edward Gibbon, historian (1737-1794)
— Lorraine Hansberry, playwright and painter (1930-1965)
— Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)
— Gary Zukav, author (1942- )
— Charles Evans Hughes, jurist (1862-1948)
— H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)
— W. Somerset Maugham, writer (1874-1965)
— Archibald MacLeish, poet and librarian (1892-1982)
— Rabindranath Tagore, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1861-1941)
— John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873)
— Albert Camus,writer and philosopher (1913-1960)
— Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)
— Arthur Koestler, novelist and journalist (1905-1983)
— Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structions
— Elizabeth Charles, writer (1828-1896)
— Miguel de Unamuno, writer and philosopher (1864-1936)
— Denis Diderot, On Dramatic Poetry
— Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat and writer (1884-1962)
— Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president (1809-1865)
— Greek proverb
— Lao Tsu