Saturday, February 11, 2012
I am lucky to have so many intelligent, curious friends who share with me the fruits of their creative minds. My email friend, Dwight, has consumed Henry Thoreau's Journal and has enlarged my thinking by sending me sniippets of Thoreau's daily thoughts that I, perhaps, am too lazy or unfocued to find for myself. Here is one such gift from Henry, via Dwight.
Feb. 11, 1859 -
Nature works by contraries. That which in summer was most fluid and unresting is now most solid and motionless. If in the summer you cast a twig into the stream it instantly moved along with the current, and
nothing remained as it was. Now I see yonder a long row of black twigs standing erect in mid-channel where two months ago a fisherman set them and fastened his lines to them. They stand there motionless as guide-posts while snow and ice are piled up about them.
Such is the cold skill of the artist. He carves a statue out of a material which is fluid as water to the ordinary workman. His sentiments are a quarry which he works .
"Nature works by contraries." Fluid vs. solid; "that which they meant for evil, God turned into good." (The story of Jacob). I could go on giving examples of this truth that I have seen, and, I'm sure, so could each of us.
"Nothing remains as it was." No need to elaborate on a truth we all regularly see.
And so, "The artist" uses these tools to complete his work. These tools of nature are the tools of creation.
Choose as you will the identity of this artist, but, at the least, his gift from Henry via my friend Dwight tells me that I, too, can turn solids to liquid by my choices and actions, and it is a reminder that the concept of change is an encouragement to self-improvement as well as an acceptance of a changing life. Serenity. Herein lies Serenity.
Thank you Henry. Thank you Dwight.