Monday, July 28, 2014


"At times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sages’ way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out — not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again

~Robert Browning, Paracelsus, 1835

Like the tortured Paracelsus in Browning's poem, I often wonder - is there more to life? Certainly existence has many levels to it, or at least our consciousness does. An odd thing to think about, isn't it? The poem excerpt above almost certainly suggests a form of reincarnation. But I like to think of it as about a person who has been through many different stages in his life. Perhaps he was a drug addict or a criminal who reformed. Perhaps he was an atheist who converted to a religion, or vice versa. And this poem are his thoughts from late in his life, many, many years after such a reform, or stage. He imagines his life pre-change, and muses whether he made the right choice.

Enough with Browning. I'm alienating you, Dear Reader, I'm sure. But that was just an example of my observations. I read a lot - mostly poetry and the "classics", as well as historical lit, but if anything catches my interest, I'll read it. It leads me to research, to learn about the world I live in, and to think about what makes it work.

Dear Reader, these are the topics and questions I'll pose to you, and try to answer - or at least give my ideas about it. I like research and new things - the more obscure, the better. I created this blog with my good friend Heather to try to discuss, to write about things that interest us, and how our previous experiences and observations help explain these things. Or something like that.

I will try to post as often as I can - a guarantee, I'm afraid, that you'll only have to blindly take my word for. I lead a busy life - not now, during the summer, of course, but during the school year. I'm 16 - an incoming junior. I lead in many different clubs and take ungodly numbers of AP courses. But I enjoy the study and the workload of schoolwork, like learning new things (extracurriculars, I'm afraid, are a different matter entirely. Except for the journalism program I'm in, which I am completely devoted to.)

Thus, with Heather, we'd like to offer this blog to you, Reader - a blur of observations and ideas. Confusing, an obscure hodgepodge with no rhyme or reason, isn't it? But isn't this what makes life worth living? It's like the famous line Robin Williams gives his Welton Academy students in Dead Poets Society:

"'That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.' What will your verse be?"

As a budding writer, that line particularly hits home for me, and I'm sure it does for Heather, as well. I intend to scribble quite a few jottings on the script of the powerful play that is Life: let this be the first of many.



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