Cape Cod Dispatches: Day 1–Events of Importance

[Posting will be light, but still daily, and very errant–well, not really errant as you’ve likely noticed the argument even if errant, always circles back to where I set out.]

Walking in the woods it may be some afternoon the shadow of the wings of a thought flits across the landscape of my mind.  And I am reminded how little eventful is our lives.  What have been all these wars & survivors of wars and modern discoveries & improvements so called a mere irritation in the skin.  But this shadow which is so soon past  & whose substance is not detected suggests that there are events of importance whose interval is to us a true historic period. (Thoreau, “Journal”, 5:380)

If you read yesterday’s piece that focused on some poetry by Tomas Transtromer and Emily Dickinson (and found room for my buddy Waldo), “It contains us.” Setting Poetry’s Course in Tranströmer”, maybe the above journal entry (24 years of journal entries, nearly every day for the last 12 years of Thoreau’s life) will resonate with you.

As we consider the iPads in our elementary schools and the constancy of our “being-as-receptacles” (I won’t be persuaded that video gaming is healthy “activity” for one’s “neural connections”) it might serve us to consider these, as Thoreau phrases it, “mere irritations in the skin”.

Yet, it is this that is driving our thinking, our being, our world, right into the “undetectedness” of a useless nature.

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