Wednesday, March 24, 2010

this chase of myself...

A break today from Brother Ware.  Instead I found myself thinking about journal keeping this morning.  Of course New Englanders have a long tradition of fairly intense journal keeping from the Puritans who used them as confessionals to the transcendentalists who almost viewed them as scripture. 
   Do you keep a journal?  Does your blog serve that purpose?  This from Bronson Alcott (a "religious" journal keeper) from his "Concord Days."


COME again into my study, having sat some time for greater comfort in the sunnier east room by an open fire, as needful in our climate, almost, as in that of changeable England. Busy days these last, with a little something to show for them. After all, I am here most at home, and myself surrounded by friendly pictures and books, free to follow the mood of the moment, — read, write, recreate. I wish more came of it all. Here are these voluminous diaries, showy seen from without, with far too little of life transcribed within. Was it the accident of being shown, when a boy, in the old oaken cabinet, my mother's little journal, that set me cut in this chase of myself, continued almost uninterruptedly, and now fixed by habit as a part of the day, like the rising and setting of the sun? Yet it has educated me into whatever skill I possess with the pen, I know not to how much besides; has made me emulous of attaining the art of portraying my thoughts, occupations, surroundings, friendships ; and could I succeed in sketching to the life a single day's doings, should esteem myself as having accomplished the chiefest feat in literature. Yet the nobler the life and the busier, the less, perhaps, gets written, and that which is, the less rewards perusal.

"Life's the true poem could it be writ,
Yet who can live at once and utter it "

All is in the flowing moments. But who shall arrest these and fix the features of the passing person behind the pageantry, and write the diary of one's existence?"

(pictured is Alcott's study, Orchard House, Concord, MA)

1 comment:

Kari said...

Great post, B.U.! I sometimes wish that I had chosen to blog anonymously so that my blog could be a journal. As it is, I share a lot, but not everything of course. I do journal with pen to paper. It lets a different level of thought flow. But I do agree with Brother Alcott that we cannot "fix the features" and also live fully in the same moment. And I believe that really, life happens in the moments.

Blessings to you and yours!