... except in the eyes of a few fanatics (untrustworthy as all lovers) an unmitigated expanse of water is dull even when blue: not in a small boat, where you are part of the winds and currents and tides and are allowed to hold the tiller now and then; but from those decks which the shipping companies with subconscious insight try to make as suburban as possible so that the impact of the monster outside may be lessened, and where the unrecognized boredom is so deep that a wispy smear of smoke on the horizon will queue up a crowd as if for a Valkyrie passing.
I have met charming people, lots who would be charming if they hadn't got a complex about the British and everyone has pleasant and cheerful manners and I like most of the American voices. On the other hand I don't believe they have any God and their hats are frightful. On balance I prefer the Arabs.
The true gardener then brushes over the ground with slow and gentle hand, to liberate a space for breath round some favorites; but he is not thinking about destruction except incidentally. It is only the amateur like myself who becomes obsessed and rejoices with a sadistic pleasure in weeds that are big and bad enough to pull, and at last, almost forgetting the flowers altogether, turns into a Reformer.
not wholly consciously, but not quite unconsciously, as far as I can remember, I determined to fashion my future as a sculptor his marble, and there was in it the same mixture of foresight and the unknown. The thing in the mind of the artist takes its way and imposes its form as it wakens under his hand. And so with life.
The past is our treasure. Its works, whether we know them or not, flourish in our lives with whatever strength they had. From it we draw provision for our journey, the collected wisdom whose harvests are all ours to reap and carry with us, though we may never live again in the fields that grew them.
The slightest living thing answers a deeper need than all the works of man because it is transitory. It has an evanescence of life, or growth, or change: it passes, as we do, from one stage to another, from darkness to darkness, into a distance where we, too, vanish out of sight. A work of art is static; and its value and its weakness lie in being so: but the tuft of grass and the clouds above it belong to our own traveling brotherhood.
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