Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Just a Thought Series ~ Another Aha Moment ~ August 17, 1978

Ever the child I continue to learn
Though at times 
It's at my own expense

There's an eerie light to the east
A wildfire's child
The air becomes a gossamer shroud
For the dreams of some
New beginnings for others
Though I've seen no flames
It's presence is felt

I am strongly intrigued
By the possibilities of chance
Your words awaken me 
From a jello minded lull
Of the sometimes 
All to consistent coastal fog

Words on timely wings
Thank you for the thoughts
I've been resting, resisting, too long
In a relationship of less than real

How could I have misplaced 
The value of passion
The key to alive
Cutting loose is difficult
But I know my happiness and creativity
Depend on what I do for my self

I was living in Jenner at the time, high up on a hill that overlooked the mouth of the Russian River. The wildfire was the Creighton Ridge fire in Cazadero. There was concern it might crest the ridge, but little chance it would reach Jenner. I do, however, remember laying in bed one night thinking about what I'd grab on short notice.

Who provided the "words on timely wings" that shook me back into renewed consciousness? Momentarily stumped, I went a few pages back in my journal to see if I could find something. The entry for August 15, 1978 had three lines, no doubt excerpted from a book and not my original journals. The initials "TG" at the bottom of the page cleared it all up. Tom is a long time friend who I've know since 1973. He was in the Coast Guard stationed in Maine at the time and we must have been corresponding about what was going on in our lives. The full text is:

"For our one chance lies in expanding that interval, in getting as many pulsations as possible into the given time. Great passions may give us this quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, the various forms of enthusiastic activity, disinterested or otherwise, which come naturally to many of us. Only be sure it is passion — that it does yield you this fruit of a quickened, multiplied consciousness. Of such wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for its own sake, has most. For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake". 

The words are from Walter Pater (1839-1894), taken from his Conclusions in "The Renaissance." He was an English essayist, writer of fiction, and literary and art critic. He was educated at The Queens College and Oxford. He argues that the most profound and passionate occasions in life, are the instances when, like viewing artwork, we are bombarded with emotion and sensory overload in a mere moment.