Friday, October 26, 2007
Life - I recommend it!
I hate nostalgia. I love history. Makes sense? For instance, I listen to music from the sixties or seventies or eighties, not because it reminds me of a lost time, or reminds me of who I was back then, I'm not fondly looking back through misty eyes, hell no, I listen because some of that music still resonates with me NOW. When that snare drum shot rings out to start "Like a Rolling Stone," it's the kick, the immediate adrenaline rush of now that grabs me by the lapels. I'm thinking there are some songs, some novels, some poems, whatever, that are so much of the moment, that they are beyond time. The moment stretches out forever and you can dip in and you are alive in an ever-expanding nowness.
At the same time, the now, is the aquarium we swim in. Sometimes there just seems to be too much now. I find it refreshing to read about times and people who lived long ago. Partly to see a glimpse of a lost world, and also to illuminate, or to put on fresh eyes to see what's happening today.
So lately, I've been reading a biography of Percy Shelley. An English poet. I kind of get the impression that he and his fellow poet, Byron, if they lived today, would be fronting rock & roll bands. I see Shelley as kind a kinky Ray Davies, and Byron, well of course, he'd be the lead singer of the Doors.
I came across this yesterday, something Shelley wrote in a notebook in 1819. It seems to me, not so old really, no, I think it could have been written today, and well, there's a real kick when someone from another time and place hits the bullseye in your head, this moment.
"Life and the world, or whatever we call that which we are and feel, is an astonishing thing...we are struck with admiration at some of it's transient modifications, but it is itself the great miracle. What are the changes of empires, the wreck of dynasties, with the opinions which supported them; what is the birth and the extinction of religions and of political systems to life? What is the universe of stars, and suns...and their motions, and their destiny, compared with life?"
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