…carpe diem et quare

I was perusing Spiritual Laws today and appreciating a number of commentaries that are presently relevant.  Gethyn submitted, “you need to finish that article for Jerry Coyne;” to which I countered, “I don’t feel like it today.”

Ironically, directly, our dialogue diverged from the topical and matured into the embodiment of Emerson’s treatise on so-called passive and active people.

“…Be, and not seem!”

In substituting being for seeming, we aver, “we are!” In substituting being for seeming, we abandon passivity and appropriate a proactive posture.  In substituting being for seeming, we own both our days and our actions.

“We call the poet inactive, because he is not a president, a merchant, or a porter. We adore an institution, and do not see that it is founded on a thought which we have. But real action is in silent moments. The epochs of our life are not in the visible facts of our choice of a calling, our marriage, our acquisition of an office, and the like, but in a silent thought by the way-side as we walk;…”

“I see action to be good, when the need is, and sitting still to be also good.”

In fluctuating contexts, sitting, which on the surface, has the appearance a passive venture, earns its place among zealous deeds.   Sitting with one’s thoughts is virtuous, as it breathes life into one’s actions.  Emerson identifies thought as the progenitor of every action.  


You’re next, love!

“Why need I go gadding into the scenes and philosophy of Greek and Italian history before I have justified myself to my benefactors? How dare I read Washington’s campaigns when I have not answered the letters of my own correspondents?“

In a characterisation that amused me, Emerson portrayed such passivity as “peeping.”  It struck  me, that in lieu of  “answering the letters of my own correspondents” — completing my article about poorly drawn cats — I was reading Emerson, in a defiant act of contempt for my own actions and deeds.  Emerson himself,  continues: the “peeper’s” time is just as noteworthy as he whom he admires; and thus, in concluding my work, other idlers may deem me best, as I do Emerson or Cicero.

To wit: Miss Ironfist, it’s time to heed Geth and Emerson and write that cat article!



Once, passion excluded all else
What is time’s arrow?
With season, now reason
Blessed reason.
We pursue virtue and worth.

Each scene of the play
Reaches one,
Enriches life’s society
The spontaneous and deep reach us
Astonish us.

We know not whence
It shepherds us
We surrender
We are. We love.

(For Gethyn. Inspired by Emerson)

A flipped blue iceberg

From Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True.”

Why Evolution Is True

After years of following leads and contacting travel/expedition companies, it looks as if I’ll be lecturing next year on some cruises to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands, which has always been a great dream of mine. It will be great fun lecturing on cruises again (I’ve done it four times), as the audiences are always much more receptive and interested than are the students in a regular college course. And I can’t wait to see the scenery and, especially, the wildlife. And maybe a blue iceberg!

Until I read this article from MyModernMet, and followed the links, I had no idea that icebergs could actually be blue. (They can also be green.) After all, they’re made of water, and water is clear and ice cubes are clear. But this doesn’t appear to be the case with ‘bergs. As the “Met” link reports:

While on an expedition in Antarctica, interface designer…

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…on autumnal dreaming

This elucidation is dedicated to my friend Bob, whose sagacity, brilliancy and erudition have augmented the astonishment of this week’s commentary…

“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Camus

To distinguish events in this singular capacity is an exceptional gift, for one is wont to negatively regard autumn as the decease of summer and in equal measure, to repudiate dreams as solely the uncontrolled musings of the mind in its dormancy. Do not this!

I adore autumn and I had never read these fine words of Camus before Bob enlightened me thus; nor am I now anticipated to disremember them. We marvel at autumn’s palate annually; however, are inclined to consent to this resplendence’s passage as unnoticed; it is merely “the end of summer.” This is regrettable.

The wonder of autumn as a magnificent reverberation and renaissance of an event. Likewise our consciousness and experiences.

To wit:

“He may see what he maketh. Our dreams are the sequel of our waking knowledge. The visions of the night bear some proportion to the visions of the day.”

~ Emerson, Spiritual Laws

Of art, Emerson observed, “In eloquence, The great triumphs of the art are, when the Orator is lifted above himself; when consciously he makes himself the mere tongue of the occasion and the hour, and says what cannot but be said.” The words and verse which emanate from the Orator or Poet are not orchestrated by him; rather, these manifestations of the Eternal Mind find him.

Emerson distinguished what he called abandonment: self-surrender; a condition in which the Artist releases himself to be unconditionally shepherded by his art. In this circumstance, a thought or idea is the original art, and the physical piece becomes a reproduction of it.

Correspondingly — and like autumn! — dreams are the progressions of our days.

When the mind surrenders itself to this striking rejuvenation, it becomes inconceivable to dismiss events as the products of either dormancy or the axial tilt (mae’n ddrwg gen i fi, Geth!).

Go there!!

Autumn on Wimbledon Common