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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ramblings, Nothing More


Sun filters through a layer of thin and insubstantial clouds, with possible rain in the forecast for later in the day. Tonight is Northport School’s annual spring concert. (Admission is free.) I’ve been reading a secondhand account of William James and John Dewey in a book called Four Philosophies, by J. Donald Butler, pragmatism being the fourth one considered, following naturalism, idealism and realism. “Pragmatism works for me.” How’s that for a bumper sticker? One only a philosopher could love, I’m sure.

Not only in the orchards and wilds, but on town ground, too, spring’s blooms are bursting forth, while out at Krikat Farm yesterday it appeared a riding lesson was in progress.




Let me fill in now with more from Robert Grudin’s Time and the Art of Living:
How will we, five or ten or twenty years hence, look back on present time? Most probably, with envy and regret. We will envy the younger self who could, relatively speaking, do so much, and we will regret that it did not do more. We will wonder why, given youth and health and broad reaches of time, we learned so little, loved so little, risked so little; how so much time could have drained so immemorially down the sink of routine and distraction. Yet these regrets, however specifically realistic they are, ignore the broader continuity, which dictates that the confines of a single moment can hold all the dimensions and potentialities of time, and that the crucial decisions and opportunities are always before us, no less now than in the past, no less in the future than now.

And
The past is like the body of time, the future like its soul. Our sense of the past is voluminous, corporeal, complex; but our sense of the future should hold innocently and simply, like a stellar spectrum, the full quality of our spirit and will.

Very Bergsonian, to my ear.

3 comments:

Gerry said...

One of the things we never know about time until we've used up most of it is that we forget . . . and then, in small flashes, remember again, suddenly and so sweetly.

P. J. Grath said...

There was a perfume called "Poison," which, when I smelled it on some passing stranger, carried me back to Paris when the chestnut trees were in bloom. The sweetness of being so transported prompted me to spend $50 (can you believe it??? Never in my life!) on the perfume. Unfortunately, I was allergic to it. "On ne peut pas tout planifier," as my old friend once remarked. No, these flashes can't be planned, only enjoyed gratefully when they occur.

P. J. Grath said...

There was a perfume called "Poison," which, when I smelled it on some passing stranger, carried me back to Paris when the chestnut trees were in bloom. The sweetness of being so transported prompted me to spend $50 (can you believe it??? Never in my life!) on the perfume. Unfortunately, I was allergic to it. "On ne peut pas tout planifier," as my old friend once remarked. No, these flashes can't be planned, only enjoyed gratefully when they occur.