We bring new life into the mysterious and infinite realm of existence and mold it to our ways. Some are born in a cesspool, others onto a throne. Both are subject to the momentum of the past and present. The less fortunate are thrashed around by the currents while the fortunate sail on by with the wind. But there truly isn’t a fortunate birth. Fortunate or unfortunate, both are subjects to the desert we have created. Only a rare few have the ability and will to seek and find the Oasis.
I was fortunate to live in a beautiful environment when I was living with my parents. Our house was backed up against a nature preserve in Northern California where coyotes, bobcat, deer, and rattle snakes roamed. The nature preserve consisted of rolling foothills covered with long silver grass and oak trees. Beyond the preserve was the densely forested Santa Cruz mountain range and beyond that lay the mighty Pacific.
I spent much time wandering in that preserve during the day and the night. It was a magical place. On one side was unspoiled nature, on the other side one could view the entire bay area from San Jose all the way to San Francisco. The contrast was even more remarkable on a moonlit night. On one side was the silver fog rolling over the Santa Cruz mountains like a giant Pacific wave, on the other side one could see the city of lights and the thousands of cars constantly meandering like a snake along the 280 freeway. You could hear the slight but constant hum of the cars in motion.
It was here that I felt most at home especially at sunset or at night when the wind blew. It was here that I took my first true love. It was here that I would go before a big high school baseball or football game to calm my nerves and gain perspective. It was here I went with my beloved brother to contemplate our existence. And it was here that I realized mankind has yet to figure out the Enigma.
At night, toward dawn, all the lights of the shore have died,
And the wind moves. Moves in the dark
The sleeping power of the ocean, no more beastlike than manlike,
Not to be compared; itself and itself.
Its breath blown shoreward huddles the world with a fog; no stars
Dance in heaven; no ship’s light glances.
I see the heavy granite bodies of the rocks of the headland,
That were ancient here before Egypt had pyramids,
Bulk on the gray of the sky, and beyond them the jets of young trees
I planted the year of the Versailles peace.
But here is the final unridiculous peace. Before the first man
Here were the stones, the ocean, the cypresses,
And the pallid region in the stone-rough dome of fog where the moon
Falls on the west. Here is reality.
The other is a spectral episode: after the inquisitive animal’s
Amusements are quiet: the dark glory.
–By Robinson Jeffers–
Ever run across a person that is no longer alive that wrote poems or literature or philosophy that hits home? I have had such experience several times…wish they occured more frequently…but most of those dead authors are from long long ago. This guy Jeffers…lived and observed his surrounding not too far in the distant past…in fact he saw much of what we see today…except he was alive during the peak of our Empire. His life and poetry really hits home with me. Perhaps because I spent much time on the California coast…in particular Pebble Beach and Carmel…where he built his own house with his own hands…and wrote much of his powerful poetry. Perhaps because he was molded…like me to a lesser and more vague sense…by Ancient Greek and Roman thought. Perhaps…because I believe like he did there is so much we can learn from nature and the inanimate…the immense concept of geological time…the “Inhumane” aspect of the entire vast and infinite universe around us. I do rebel against this very very intelligent man and still hold out hope for mankind…but I fully disclose that I am both ignorant and naive. Most of my senses say we aren’t going to make it. I hope you enjoyed this short poem…he has lots more:)