Piece 5

GoetheThis is the final background piece before I begin posting journal-like entries.  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe is another poet, artist, or may I say universal man, that had a great influence on me.  This poem, written a few years before his death, may be directed towards the young about ready to enter life and I find this piece to be quite poignant and wise.  This piece is a potential remedy or a solution to overcome my utopian day dreams, excuses, and aggravation with the general human momentum.  It is my intention and desire  that my journal-like writings lead to more consciousness  and action in the spirit of this eternal piece of wisdom.

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A Legacy

No living atom comes at last to naught! 
Active in each is still the eternal Thought: 
Hold fast to Being if thou wouldst be blest. 
Being is without end; for changeless laws 
Bind that from which the All its glory draws 
Of living treasures endlessly possessed. 

Unto the wise of old this truth was known, 
Such wisdom knit their noble souls in one; 
Then hold thou still the lore of ancient days! 
To that high power thou ow’st it, son of man, 
By whose decree the earth its circuit ran 
And all the planets went their various ways. 
Then inward turn at once thy searching eyes; 

Thence shalt thou see the central truth arise 
From which no lofty soul goes e’er astray; 
There shalt thou miss no needful guiding sign- 
For conscience lives, and still its light divine 
Shall be the sun of all thy moral day. 
Next shalt thou trust thy senses’ evidence, 
And fear from them no treacherous offence 
While the mind’s watchful eye thy road commands: 
With lively pleasure contemplate the scene 
And roam securely, teachable, serene, 
At will throughout a world of fruitful lands. 
Enjoy in moderation all life gives: 
Where it rejoices in each thing that lives 
Let reason be thy guide and make thee see. 
Then shall the distant past be present still, 
The future, ere it comes, thy vision fill- 
Each single moment touch eternity. 
Then at the last shalt thou achieve thy quest, 
And in one final, firm conviction rest: 
What bears for thee true fruit alone is true. 
Prove all things, watch the movement of the world 
As down the various ways its tribes are whirled; 
Take thou thy stand among the chosen few. 
Thus hath it been of old; in solitude 
The artist shaped what thing to him seemed good, 
The wise man hearkened to his own soul’s voice. 
Thus also shalt thou find thy greatest bliss; 
To lead where the elect shall follow-this 
And this alone is worth a hero’s choice.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Walking in the Air — Adult Version

If I had the resources…I could create a more poignant video…and music selection…to pay tribute to this angelic and philosophical masterpiece…composed and relevant for children..teens..adults…the elderly…human”kind”…. but…this is an excellent creation….Happy New Year…or more to the point…yet another revolution around the sun…which itself..and our earth..solar system…is rotating around our galactic center…which takes 225-250 million years to complete a full orbit…and our galaxy itself…is probably flying and rotating around something else even larger…taking even more time to complete a cycle…and then there is our universe itself………………………….relative to other universes….or something even more incomprehensible………………………Cheers….to those…that care to comprehend………….that we can’t comprehend…………and what that means as to how we should live our flicker of existence as individuals………… and as a species………and with our other species……………………………………….to those that are not asleep…and are brave enough to see…to greet those that have flown…and to greet those that are flying….or trying to fly………….that see the beauty……..that understand the great mystery without succumbing to a prescription………a solution….to which there is never a solution…….the never ending discovery…..the eternal questions………the forever effort to push on………to go beyond…..and to Love……yourself…and carefully selected others…and something beyond the general human momentum….that appears to be………..not concerned with anything………..sublime……..this very masterpiece……..a threat….an enemy………….to that momentum………..a momentum to where….to what end…to what progression….to what struggle to build…upon one generation to the next…..for the children……………………………………………………………………….to believe………………………………in their dreams………..in the future…………….to receive……………from……their father…..their mother…………………….man”kind”…………a torch………………..a torch that grows…….into a flame as hot and illuminate as the sun………and then….beyond….there is no limit….to the light….the dark….the heat…the cold……….if………we see….if…..we…..want to walk in the air…………if we want our children…and their children….to fly higher…and higher….in the air

🙄

Lyrics…”Walking in the Air”

We’re walking in the air
We’re floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly

I’m holding very tight
I’m riding in the midnight blue
I’m finding I can fly so high above with you

Far across the world
The villages go by like dreams
The rivers and the hills
The forests and the streams

Children gaze open-mouthed
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes

We’re surfing in the air
We’re swimming in the frozen sky
We’re drifting over icy
Mountains floating by

Suddenly swooping low on an ocean deep
Rousing of a mighty monster from his sleep

We’re walking in the air
We’re dancing in the midnight sky
And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly

Short Breath of Freedom

Pull up the anchor, raise the sail, head off that way where the wind blows.  That was the beginning of the poem I wrote before I began my year-long unobstructed journey throughout Europe.  Unfortunately I can’t remember all the lines, but I do remember that it ended by saying life and death dance together.  In my preparation for this unobstructed journey I consulted my wise old brother for recommended readings to supplement my visual and touchable observations.  He provided me with a large list of books by period and topic – all Penguin classics of course.  And when I say classics, I am of course talking about pre-Christ and pre-industrial revolution.  Some of the books would be a re-read from my liberal arts education in undergraduate, but books can mean different things at different stages or mindsets during our life.  I fit all my clothes into a back pack, but the books I purchased filled two sport-sized duffel bags that probably weighed forty pounds each.  Oh, the weight of past knowledge was immense!

I have used the term “unobstructed journey” often in the above paragraph and other posts.  What I mean by this is that I wouldn’t have to be concerned with making money.  I wouldn’t have to endure working five days to make a buck and then call upon my reserve energy on a weekend or short vacation to engage in higher and more bountiful endeavors.  If you are honest with yourself, the need to make money expends and drains your energy leaving you with nothing but fumes to pursue what you really would like to pursue.  Rare is the man or woman who can refute this maxim.  But, to be clear, my freedom was restricted by two aspects.  First, I had to watch my funds and as such I decided to live in hostels and holes in the wall so that I could splurge on good food, wine, and cultural excursions to museums and concerts.  Second, the money would run out so there was certainly a time constriction on this journey.  Notice the common limitation?  Who created money?  Man.

My travels included three months in Paris, two months in Austria (Salzburg and Vienne), three months in Italy (Rome, Florence, and Venice), and the remainder in Greece on the Island of Santorini.  In Paris, my focus was the museums which I would combine with reading material that aligned with the art and architecture I would observe.  I also began writing my thoughts based on what I was learning, thinking, and observing.  I applied the same program to my time in Italy.  In Austria, I tended to focus more on music of the likes of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart.  Greece was used as a means to decompress and begin to summarize my thoughts and learning and apply it to my purpose in life going forward.  Of course in Greece I focused on works from the great philosophers and epic poets born from that ancient flower.

Greece or Santorini was really the pinnacle of the excursion for it was at this place that I began to reflect on my future purpose.  I still remember the ferry ride from Italy to Greece.  I had enjoyed a great meal and drink while I awaited the ferry.  My mind was so supple and alive from the last eight months.  Once aboard the ferry and under way, I vividly remember the wind blowing in my face, the smells, the clouds, and the color of the blue Mediterranean.  Such a feeling of freedom and clarity have I rarely known.  I was a very different person from whom I was and whom I am.  My hair had grown quite long with blonde streaks from so much time outside in the parks and wandering the city streets.  My skin had a golden glow.  My mind was clear and supple.  My spirit was relatively open and free.  My body was lean and strong.  Once I landed on Santorini, I made a cave hostel my home.  The cave-like hostel was drilled into a mountain equipped with beds, bathroom, and a couple that served us meals outside of the cave.  I could walk to cafes and restaurants or take a bus to the beach where I would take long powerful swims in the Mediterranean.  I met many people and realized I wasn’t such a brave man for taking a year out my life to travel with relative freedom.  Many Australians travel for up to two years and the culture actually embraces such an excursion.

My three months in Greece was both fruitful and tragic.  The fruitful piece was that I had finally decided how I wanted to expend the rest of my energy in this life.  I had decided to become a landscape and sky scape photographer and also approach human subjects that reflected the beauty of past and present achievements.  I knew that I wasn’t a deep intellectual, or a talented writer, or skilled with my hands in painting or sculpture, or a god-like composer of music, but I also knew I had a great eye for observation and a talent for merging deep feeling with the sublime moment nature often reveals.   I also love to be outside amongst nature and detest being locked in doors.  I feel so free and alive when I am outside amongst beauty, and the opposite when the walls of humanity close me in.  The tragic piece was that women found me attractive.  I had never been a playboy and preferred long-term and meaningful relationships.  But, these women were like sirens and I didn’t have the discipline to walk the other way.  As such, I expended resources beyond my means to enjoy food and drink at incredibly beautiful spots.  I expended resources on villas overlooking the beautiful sunsets.  This weakness of mine led to the conclusion of this short breath of freedom.  Resources had dried up and it was time to return to America.  The time had come to begin my new-found purpose in life and leave the sirens behind.