2 cyclists rode this bike at the Cycle4sight/Rotary Ride for Veterans held today in Napa Valley,California. Proceeds go to the Enchanted Hills, Scholl of the Blind and to the Pathway Home in Napa Valley, a program for veterans who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq with PTSD.
A book,The Circumference of Home by Kurt Hoelting, caught my attention while I was browsing the Friends of Library’s shelves on my way out of the library. I deposited my $2.00 worth of bills in the box and took the book home.
In the book’s introduction I read: “For the coming year, I will travel exclusively by foot, bicycle, kayak, and public transportation inside this circle, with a portion of each month devoted to explorations under my own power.”
It has to compete for attention with 5 other books I’m reading.There is time to read but there many books to read, not a complaint but a statement of gratitude.
“Modern man, for Baudelaire, is not the man who goes off to discover himself, his secrets and his hidden truth; he is the man who tries to invent himself. This modernity does not “liberate man in his own being”; it compels him to face the task of producing himself.”
“Modernity is distinct from fashion, which does no more than call into question the course of time; modernity is the attitude that makes it possible to grasp the “heroic” aspect of the present moment. Modernity is not a phenomenon of sensitivity to the fleeting present; it is the will to “heroize” the present.”
from: What is Enlightenment? by Michel Foucault
One of the assigned readings in my eCourse, The Moderbn and The Postmodern, is this essay of Michel Foucault.This an enlightening course for me.
In June,coming home
from Erie Canal, Lockport Locks,
where the river’s dream flows to the sea
nieces, aunt, uncle, parents, we
were playing the children’s game-
porcupine, piano, palaces-
naming words that start with p
sing song voices, ascending and fading
the water filled and emptied,
the boat rose and fell
one sequential stage to the next
the key and lock in minutes.
Reaching home voices
voices diminished to whispers-
physics paints parallel
points-a heavenly lullaby
in utterance and sleep,
a different sound of peace.
One Saturday everyone joined
to hike a mountain. The children
leaped and climbed boulders
strewn in disarray everywhere,
hid behind trees, inside crevices,
read the rock’s faces with
astonishment and laughter
cupped their shadows in the stream,
the forest more than a vast
playground they imagined.
We were old shepherds
looking for renewal of youth within
to define performance
in language and play.
Time promised us a gift-
the joy of encounter, the way
to divine the proximity,
“I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way. And next the thought came to me that to leave all out would be another, and truer, way.
The flowers were.
These are examples of leaving out. But, forget as we will, something soon comes to stand in their place. Not the truth, perhaps, but–yourself. It is you who made this, therefore you are true. But the truth has passed on
to divide all.
Have I awakened? Or is this sleep again? Another form of sleep?”
from: (opening lines) The New Spirit, one of the three prose poems in the book, Three Poems by John Ashbery
I like the randomness, the “shape of the new merging”, “drink the confusion, sample that other.”
“When I think of finishing the work, when I think of the finished work, a great sadness overtakes me,a sadness paradoxically like joy. The circumstances of doing put away, the being of it takes possession, like a tenant in a rented house. Where are you now, homeless heart?”
from: Quick Question, John Ashbery
“Insist on yourself;never imitate…Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart and thou salt reproduce the Foreworld again.”
from: Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m reading Emerson’s Self-Reliance for my eCourse in Modern and Post-Modern.
For my contemporary book reading: Quick Question, a book of poems by John Ashbery.
“Labor is a craft, but perfect rest is an art. It is the result of an accord of body, mind and imagination. To attain a degree of excellence in art, one must accept its discipline, one must adjure slothfulness. The seventhday is a palace in time which we build. It is made of soul, of joy and reticence…
There is a word that is seldom said, a word for an emotion almost too deep to be expressed: the love of the Sabbath…Love was knighthood’s service; it was loyalty and devotion; it was the noblest human giving. It was also the spring of excellence, the inspiration of high deeds.”
excerpts from: The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel