Friday, June 3, 2011

to stimulate those who are upward-minded

Pearls by Alex Andreyev
Pearls by
Alex Andreyev

        I have said we are wrestling with tremendous problems, more important to the masses of men than art or poetry; the problems of human life; of human happiness. But it is a sordid combat, with sordid forces, in a sordid arena. It is as intensely practical as trying to reach a life-raft after shipwreck. We are searching for Truth. We have killed that credulity which peopled the thickets with fauns and made of the murmurous rivulets the voices of nymphs. We have even killed Hell and Heaven as particular retreats for particular people, but a knowledge of truth need not and cannot kill the imagination. Imagination is not synonymous with credulity or superstition. It is the vital spark of the human mind and it remains for us to speculate upon what wonderful forms it will flame into when again it leaps upward. If I could leave a phrase to stimulate those who are upward-minded, I would say not only is there "no profit where is no pleasure ta'en. In brief, sir study what you most affect." But, also, there is no pleasure where there is no profit taken. In brief, sir, read what is worth studying. Only that is worth reading.

        In considering the question of mental cultivation, I often think of De Quincey's simile of the pearl-necklace which has been broken and the wearer sits in a boat in calmest sea, unconscious of the fact. One by one, the precious jewels slip off and hasten back to the eternal depths. The necklace is Life and the pearls are the hours which make it.
--from On the Making of Books (1911), by C. E. S. Wood



mythopolis said...


Rob-bear said...

Awesome picture; challenging text. A thought-provoking post.

And the baby hawks are doing well.

Anonymous said...

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing :)

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ uh-Huh! C.E.S. Wood is a literary god to me and I was struck by this piece of art to illuminate a passage of his writing.

Rob-bear~ I realize that I have not looked at the baby hawks for awhile....tomorrow when there is light I shall.
Thank you for your appreciative comment.

Amber Lee~ I am glad! My pleasure, most definitely. :)

Susu Paris Chic said...

Pouring the light. Letting the creativity flow out. That is life. That is my saving grace.

Thank you for commenting sweet soul!

susan said...

The arrogance of modernity is in trying to measure everything we make our world a Flatland. I think I'll start a movement to bring back the fauns.

That's a very beautiful image you found.

Olga said...

After reading your posts, I find I have a lot to think about. Even on such a wonderful summer day, it's not burdensome, but rather intellectually stimulating.

Lydia said...

Susu Paris Chic~ Thank you for your comment that seemed perfect for the image in this post!

susan~ god, I love your profound comments. Spectacular expression.

Olga~ What a lovely thing for you to feel and say! I am honored.
(Glad you are having a wonderful summer day; we are also.)

rosaria said...

Much to ponder here!
You have an open invitation to mosey on down 101 and visit Port Orford where I live. You know you need the sight of that ocean, don't you?

Stickup Artist said...

I'm surprised that was written 100 years ago as this passage seems particularly relevant today. It is almost sad that all the best writing calling for new forms of thought and being are so timeless and seem always to apply from century to century. Still, I am so thankful that little illuminating torch is handed down from generation to generation till surely one day, it will bring the light of a new dawn to humankind.

Lydia said...

rosaria~ That is so lovely of you! Will try to do that sometime, as your area of the coast is one I am not familiar with at all. (And you are right: I am longing for the Oregon coast.) Many thanks.

Stickup Artist~ Your comment was so eloquent and really touched me, and gave me hope. C.E.S. Wood seems a kindred of yours, too.

Kathe W. said...

this is a stunning post-so appropriate to these malevolant times. I call them malevolant because I don't believe in what we are told - I only know what feels right- and it doesn't. The powers that be are only interested in what they can get-the ones who still care are few and far between.
But we who truly care about our planet keep trying. Thank you for this post.

Lydia said...

Kathe~ So interesting you would describe the times as malevolent, as it is a word that has been in my mind a lot lately...just swimming around without being affixed to anything in particular. Now it has landed on this concept of yours, which feels just right.



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