Sweetness and Light

  • 6:30 AM.


    I've been up for five hours, wending my way west from Wamsutter to Salt Lake City. Sitting at the dock now, relieved of duty for a time, and watching the morning sun light up the snow-gilt eyries between Flat Top and Farnsworth Peak, I recline a bit deeper into the chair and rest my head. Good old Utah. The bustle of industry is a faint buzz in my ears, but between my thoughts and that mountain there's nothing but morning air and sunshine. I'm aware of it now; that much-vaunted inner world. The palace of monks and poets, ascetics and philosophers.


    Ne plus ultra. No more beyond; beyond that snowy eminence, nothing but blue sky. And inside, interiorly, nothing beyond the vague and scarcely intelligible patter of a mind finally at something near to rest. Is that right? I know, of course, that it isn't; that beyond that blue sky is an infinity of space and time, of worlds wheeling off into eternity. And within, the deep imperceptible currents of subconscious; the stirring impressions of a lifetime of experience, the fight-or-flight instinct of the lizard-brain, the molecular lust and terror for life and immortality. For permanence.


    But for myself, I am content with surfaces. The mountain, for instance, and the idling engine of a freightliner next to me. Red Earth and Blue Sky. Not for me the cant and polemic of theology and philosophy; well, not this morning at any rate. Perspective! That's what I mean; a life lived partially in the academic world of thought and disputation, and partially here--OUT here, out beneath the sun and wind and sailing cloud. A time to partake of the refulgent pleasure of just BEing. The dream of the aesthetic, that's what I yearn for; all the light and power of true philosophy, shot through with the golden sweetness of beauty, form, loveliness and pleasure. Will I ever tire of such vistas?


    Could I ever want more than this?


    Quote

    Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.


    -Henry David Thoreau

  • There's a good deal of Edward Abbey in this post. I've done it off-the-cuff, hopefully I haven't drawn too heavily. My excuse shall be that I think of him everytime I come this way.

  • Thank you, Cassius! I'm afraid you guys will have to stomach a bit of my journaling from time to time. ;)

  • Utah is beautiful. I have a friend who wants to move to Provo.

    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • it's stunning, Hiram. My favorite state to drive in. Someday I'll convince my friends to get out here with me, and we'll see it properly!

  • In college I periodically drove back and forth between Los Angeles and Denver. Those were unforgettable trips: I especially enjoyed them at night, when I'd stick my head out the window and breathe in the stars.

  • "A time to partake of the refulgent pleasure of just BEing. The dream of the aesthetic, that's what I yearn for; all the light and power of true philosophy, shot through with the golden sweetness of beauty, form, loveliness and pleasure. Will I ever tire of such vistas?


    Could I ever want more than this?"


    JJElbert hello and welcome here. I'm glad that I read such a poetic and full of images text of yours which - at the same time - it is clear and powerful of meanings. You remind me a small excerpt from a book "TA HELLENIKA", by Dimitris Liantinis who was a professor of Philosophy in the greek University.


    "You ask: what is my charge, and what is my waste?

    But it is the life itself. Your own life that you live it with all the joys that shows to you.


    That you saw the sun in the morning and the sea in July. That you walked in a ravine in May, with a girl on your side, and both you heard the nightingale. That you were thirsty, and you drank the cold water of the spring."








    Files

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • That's a lovely passage, Elli, and conveys the feeling exactly. Thank you!

  • Hi JJElbert,


    As I'm sure to countless others, HDT is a personal hero of mine. I work and study in the fourth largest city in North America, behind Mexico City, NYC, LA and ahead of Chicago. The light pollution is bad, however, we are blessed with natural areas and parks. The provincial license plate motto for Ontario "Yours to Discover" really puts the story of human natural discovery into the fore mind by way of rear bumper lol 8o


    I'll just say that light is so important for the mind, body and soul. I wrote an article about the expansion of one of my university's libraries. It's the second article... https://thevarsity.ca/2019/03/…-briefs-week-of-march-25/


    I think, beyond human structures of light, natural spaces are just as important to explore. So go, get out and enjoy to your delight and pleasure.


    best,


    Oscar

    Joy to the World!