The Sound

I follow a blog called “A Drip of Truth,” and I enjoyed this piece immensely; I hope you do too…

A drip of Truth

She lay there listening to the sound as she had every other night for as long as she could remember. Then again, what else was there to remember? It was hard for her to truly describe the sound, for in the dark her mind conjured all sorts of strange imagery. A body being clumsily dragged away. Dull claws grinding across the rough surface of the floor. She honestly couldn’t even say if it was moving closer to her or further away. Clearly it was moving somewhere. Everything moved somewhere. Didn’t it? The thought of it perpetually frozen in its motion, forever making that sound but no progress, felt even more terrifying than the prospect of some horror creeping ever closer. Because if it wasn’t moving it meant it was staying. Surely, she could detect the sound growing slightly fainter. Or was it becoming ever clearer? It had to be.

She…

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…on respecting moods and embracing self trust

“Trust thyself.” One of the most life-affirming and striking realisations (the epitome of self-help!) ever imparted by Emerson (in my opinion, anyway).

The meritorious mandate speaks to individuality, non-conformity and honesty, as Emerson forewarns us to not “drag about this corpse” of our memories in undeserving reverence for the past and consistency over the incorruptibility of probity to self and others.

“Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.—“

~ Self Reliance

Moods change as the weather...

As humans, we are susceptible to disparate moods, as our assumptions, conceptions and opinions are vulnerable to the same; and this is not a bad thing, for moods are fluid, define our personalities, and consequently, there is no assurance that we will not unsay tomorrow that which we have spoken today. We are not to be derided as mercurial and Emerson addresses this expertly:

“I endeavored to show my good men that I love everything by turns and nothing long; that I loved the centre, but doated on the superficies; that I loved man, if men seemed to me mice and rats; that I revered saints, but woke up glad that the old pagan world stood its ground and died hard; that I was glad of men of every gift and nobility, but would not live in their arms.”

~ Nominalist and Realist

To wit: trust thyself!

…on my limitations

Youth carries with it feasibly unrecognised, though estimable, excellence: innocence and modesty; for, it is a rarity that one in this stage of life is possessed of arrogance and conceit. It is a humbling experience to acknowledge one’s own limitations in environments and circumstances which expose the same. Emerson’s essay, Nominalist and Realist adeptly addresses this condition.

“In his childhood and youth he has had many checks and censures, and thinks modestly enough of his own endowment. When afterwards he comes to unfold it in propitious circumstance, it seems the only talent; he is delighted with his success, and accounts himself already the fellow of the great. But he goes into a mob, into a banking house, into a mechanic’s shop, into a mill, into a laboratory, into a ship, into a camp, and in each new place he is no better than an idiot; other talents take place, and rule the hour. The rotation which whirls every leaf and pebble to the meridian, reaches to every gift of man, and we all take turns at the top.“

A colleague shared with me the drawings of another colleague, which he applauded, and because they lacked the precision and realism of mine, I dismissed them as inferior in my thoughts. Should I have shed the arrogance of adulthood and acquiesce to the talents of another? Being cognisant of one’s own constraints and prejudices goes further and obviates the need for “critics” of any kind, and is precisely the reason I do not heed Critics’ opinions of art, books, music or cinema.

“If you criticise a fine genius, the odds are that you are out of your reckoning, and instead of the poet, are censuring your own caricature of him. For there is somewhat spheral and infinite in every man, especially in every genius, which, if you can come very near him, sports with all your limitations.”

Caravaggio’s The Martyr of Saint Matthew

Caravaggio: The Martyr of Saint Matthew

And there you have it. Consider this: all individuals, though seemingly flawed or inadequate, are nevertheless worthy of praise.

Finally. Am I alone in — upon reading the opening of the first quote — thinking of…this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_ukUlu0x5k&app=desktop

…on realism and friendship

I ponder the truth of the matter: as we grow older, the number of our friends decreases: it is inversely proportional to our ages. One need only take to social media to behold numberless memes extolling this condition. Many of us readily embrace this; we are dissimilar to Pliny the Younger, whom Peachin reported was known to have exaggerated the number of his friends (this is a story for another day!).

Emerson’s words in Prudence and Nominalist and Realist apply as much to the circumstance of pure friendship as do those in the essay of the same name.

And thus does our cultivation prescribe the worth and quality of our associations; and thus do we seek virtues. Pursue not friendship in haste; it is unattainable, and souls cannot commune with souls that are not equally ripe. This “quick fix” shatters all illusion of perfection; the chances of any longevity are infinitesimal.

“If you believe in the soul, do not clutch at sensual sweetness before it is ripe on the slow tree of cause and effect. It is vinegar to the eyes to deal with men of loose and imperfect perception.”

~ Prudence

“The laws of friendship are austere and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals. But we have aimed at a swift and petty benefit, to suck a sudden sweetness. We snatch at the slowest fruit in the whole garden of God, which many summers and many winters must ripen. We seek our friend not sacredly, but with an adulterate passion which would appropriate him to ourselves. In vain. We are armed all over with subtle antagonisms, which, as soon as we meet, begin to play, and translate all poetry into stale prose.”

~ Friendship

No person can realistically achieve supremacy; what Emerson called symmetry; the deception is a manifestation of expectations. Upon encountering a person deemed flawless by virtue of a reputable gift or attribute, I am inevitably disappointed upon discovering that the performance does not live up to the promise.

“All persons exist to society by some shining trait of beauty or utility, which they have. We borrow the proportions of the man from that one fine feature, and finish the portrait symmetrically; which is false; for the rest of his body is small or deformed.”

~ Nominalist and Realist

How many of us enter into friendships thus? How many of us heed reports of good imparted by others or receive an individual wholly based upon one favourable attribute visible on the surface? And upon reflection, how many of these associations endure?

…on today’s memorable quotation 

The two most prevalent influences in our household are Hawking and Emerson; I reblog this because I mourn Professor Hawking today…

A Classicist Writes...

Gethyn and I were having a conversation over dinner recently, and he cautioned his horrified wife that, although he enjoys reading her hero and appreciates some of what he imparts, he unfortunately found himself not in a position to accept the entirety of philosophy about Nature; moreover, he put forward that humanity does not perceive, wholly, what nature in reality is.

As one who disseminates his love for and knowledge of Physics to others, he cited the brilliant Professor Stephen Hawking:

“These examples bring us to a conclusion: there is no picture- or theory-independent concept of reality. Instead we adopt a view that we call model-dependent realism: the idea that a physical theory or world picture is a model (generally of a mathematical nature) and a set of rules that connect the elements of the model to observations. This provides a framework with which to interpret modern science.”image

~ Stephen…

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…on nor are we cats

“For we are not pans and barrows, nor even porters of the fire and torch-bearers,…”

Nor are we cats!

Still emphysematous from laughter. I received this image from Jerry: another badly painted “cat.”

Is he an Imperial Walker?

Is he a tooth?

Is he in the initial stages of spaghettification?

Indeed, what is it? I renounce this too, to the eye of the beholder.  For I present another painting of a “cat,” which carries with it even more limitless hilarity; he/she/it resembles not – even in the smallest degree – any other cat…ever.  One friend hypothesised that medieval artists hadn’t grasped how to…grasp implements such as paintbrushes or palate knives; however, this work is not quite medieval; it is mid-nineteenth century. Is it an unattainable endeavour to persuade a cat to remain immobile? This guy certainly appears to be moving. I stand by my aforementioned ultimate contemplation: the unavoidable inference that this Artist too, just didn’t like cats!

…on today’s memorable quotation for kitten lovers!

Kittens make everything OK. Kittens and Emerson. Serendipitously, here are both:

Written on sin; however here, relevant to any circumstance, which the mind perceives only in relation to itself; though, must be experienced to a farther-reaching degree; beyond our own subjectivity. The soul must be free to attain “due sphericity:” an introduction to the fullest extent of particulars (PURRticulars 😂).

“Do you see that kitten chasing so prettily her own tail? If you could look with her eyes, you might see her surrounded with hundreds of figures performing complex dramas, with tragic and comic issues, long conversations, many characters, many ups and downs of fate,–and meantime it is only puss and her tail. How long before our masquerade will end its noise of tamborines, laughter, and shouting, and we shall find it was a solitary performance?–A subject and an object,–it takes so much to make the galvanic circuit complete, but magnitude adds nothing. What imports it whether it is Kepler and the sphere; Columbus and America; a reader and his book; or puss with her tail?”

~ Emerson

Now, Theo as a kitten!