15 March 2012

Two scotches in . . .

In “Life without Principle,” Thoreau writes “In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.” I’ve just climbed the driveway from the mailbox carrying today’s letters, and there was not one communication either for or from myself. I have not heard from myself for awhile. I think I’ve missed me.
I would speak. Hamlet accuses Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, “You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak.”  I lately cannot make me speak. Of course, there is always the politics to offer as grist to the mill but to me the banality offends me, and I would not soil the stones with such ordure. “I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week . . . We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day . . . Read not the Times. Read the Eternities.” I continue to read extensively but would not turn the blog into a book review. Before me as I write are pictures of Thoreau and Whitman; behind me are posters of Marx and Dylan. I aspire to their admiration.
I sometimes suspect that my silence derives from an unwillingness to pluck out the heart of my mystery. Lately I have been considering that all that exists at my center is mystery, but that finally this mystery is ultimately impenetrable; much of my action attempts to mask the existence of the mystery. I would not be found, in fact, and would not even find myself, if the case may be. And I have allowed this unfathomable mystery to stifle my voice, fearful as I have become by the realization of the mystery and the effort required to acknowledge its ultimate opacity. I would speak but have not the skill. The audience remains myselfand there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ,” but sometimes I don’t want to fill another’s mailbox with my clutter.
Thoreau again: “Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do . . .” It is a curious phrase, ‘doing as others do.’ I wonder: is Thoreau asking that doing as others do makes his life unsatisfactory, or is he asking whether like others he thinks his life unsatisfactory? Either interpretation works in this instance, and both interpretations work for my own consideration. Thoreau speaks in this instance of the Gold Rush and the mad race West to mine the earth for one’s fortune. Of course, as is his wont, Thoreau metaphorizes his life by wondering why he might not mine for the gold within him though that gold be found only as the finest of particles; he wonders why he might not “sink a shaft down to the gold within me and work that mine.” So, I would be a miner though my drill bit may never disclose the vein, and though all I discover might be the finest of particles, so it will be. The blog’s audience is always myself though I appreciate the eavesdroppers.


Post a Comment

<< Home