Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A good quote and some thoughts on it.

"A man may either move westward through life, following the light, or eastward toward the ever gathering darkness. It is a kind of orientation of temperment that is set in our earliest years; an emotional compass. One either pursues one's dreams or memories and it's an exceptional man who, once his compass is set, can alter it even a point or two."

-Halden: Essays.

i found this quote in a notebook of poetry i wrote in high school. the poems aren't very good, but some quotes in there really ring true... i look upon that time and i was always angry, sad, and morbid. now i'm usually described as an incurable optimist and having a sense of infectious hope.

maybe our compasses aren't set. maybe we not as conditioned as we seem. i mean Doug and myself have altered our compasses more than a point or two... maybe others have as well...

or maybe i was always like this.. i just went through a phase... or my memory is faulty... i dunno...

but memory is nothing more than a receptacle of our past; the future a fabric of dreams. And the much vaunted present, that which we are all to seize with a passion, is but the smallest measure of an instant, the single tick of a clock, a medium for translating the future into the past, dreams into memory.

i'm going to try to stay in the present and live on hope. hope for my future and for Eve's future as well... memories are there, experience has brought me this far and taught me much, but the present is the place to be.


Tit for Tat said...

I think this is what he meant in that poem.

"First we make our habits, and then our habits make us."

I get that! Its on my daughters wall.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The present is the place to be. Living in the moment. Always open to something new. Eager to listen to a different idea. Always trying a new thing. Knowing that God is not found in a religion or a theology nearly so much as he is found in his creation. I don't ever want my compass to be set.

Yael said...

I live life with a keen sense of connection to my ancestors. I guess that's why I fit in the life that I live because history for me is very much alive. It doesn't rule my life but I find it adds much meaning to my present. Just another tension I suppose.

For me, I don't think my compass got altered along the way. I just think for too many years I let people tell me the 'wrong' meaning of the letters. When I checked them out for myself and allowed another interpretation of them to orient me, the world started to make sense to me. :)

Luke said...

T4T- i can always count on you for an awesome quote.

freestyle- eloquently put, i agree!

Yael- i just started reading "Messengers of God" By Elie Wiesel and he stated the same... Jewish people are always conscious of their history when looking forward into the future. i guess my brain is too simple or Christian conditioned ;-)

to some extent, are we always refering back to our past experiences for reference? what govers your theological thinking? what experience, events or ideas govern your thinking? (this is an open question, not just to Yael).