Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Helen Keller's Legacy



Helen Keller must be one of the most talented, intelligent, brave, courageous, thoughtful, and influential, activists of her time. 
From the terrible disease of scarlet fever as a child she became completely deaf, blind and mute. In a time where people didn't know how to aid disabled people, she rose above all expectations and taught the world how to live and breathe.

 Her teacher, Anne Sullivan broke through the isolation of near complete lack of language, allowing Helen to blossom as she learned to communicate. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 

                                                     She was an incredible person.
 I encourage you to watch the play or film, 'The Miracle Worker', it cannot but help make you aware of how much you take for granted every single day. 

God will give strength to all who stand up against the crowd and rise above the limitations until there are none.




 "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."





Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The day I discovered I was a Romantic


The day I discovered I was a Romantic. 
My studying turned to William Wordsworth and I learnt in depth what he began in English literature.
 He began Romanticism.

The word wasn't thought of in the same way then as it is today.
It was a new way of crafting poetry. It didn't care for the rules of the Augustan age before, where writers placed so much importance on how they wrote and not what was beneath their words.   
But William saw the suffering of the poor just as William Blake did, and he wrote about it in his poems.

William's way of looking at the world was through nature. The shapes, colours, textures, and the scale of the beauty of nature had a powerful and emotional effect on him and others who thought like him.

The Romantics pictured themselves as aloof from the crowd. 
They placed significance on imagination, intuition and emotion.
They also believed that childhood was the epitome of who the adult would later become.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge feverishly wanted his children to grow up in the countryside. He insisted that nature should be his children's teacher, and that the urban way of life should be prevented from seeping into the child's existence before it was necessary.

When William Wordsworth was studying in Cambridge, he found that he had hardly any inspiration because he was not surrounded by his wonderful countryside. 

I know that my childhood, rambling freely amid the corn and flowers, trees and meadows was what instilled within me a love for all things natural upon this earth.
 Now that I am at university in the middle of a very big city, I cannot help hungering for the meadows of home, for the soft river, for the sweet and gentle bells tolling from the church.
I knew somewhere within me that I had always known there were others gone before that thought the same way I did. 
And there still are human beings now breathing upon the earth they born into or wanted to be born into.
And we are just the same. 
You are not alone.

Why did all this happen? Why is nature so important? Why was it such a colossal movement?

Because creation is God's own handiwork. It was crafted by him and brings glory to him and will forever more.
And so through it we find splendour, power, spirituality, purpose, and utter wonder.

We too are his,
 and we were made to worship him just as the birds do.





"The earth has music for those who listen"

- George Santayana 


Sunday, 21 April 2013

speak

How could I have lived all that time without realising that everything in the world has a voice and speaks?


Not just the things that are supposed to speak, but the others, like the gate, the walls of the houses, the shade of trees, the sand, and the silence.


-Lusseyran,(And There Was Light.)






Tuesday, 16 April 2013

the secrets of creation


I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, 
diverting myself now and then, 
finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, 
whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.


Isaac Newton





 



Sunday, 14 April 2013

Look what I have!


                 Not in a silver casket cool with pearls                                           Or rich with red corundum or with blue,
Locked, and the key withheld, as other girls
Have given their loves, I give my love to you;

Not in a lovers'-knot, not in a ring
Worked in such fashion, and the legend plain—
Semper fidelis, where a secret spring
Kennels a drop of mischief for the brain:

Love in the open hand, nothing but that,
Ungemmed, unhidden, wishing not to hurt,
As one should bring you cowslips in a hat
Swung from the hand, or apples in her skirt,

I bring you, calling out as children do:
"Look what I have!—And these are all for you



 Edna St. Vincent Millay







Sonnet to the River Otter


Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have past,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast,

Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,

Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes
Gleam'd through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of Childhood! oft have ye beguil'd

Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:
Ah! that once more I were a careless Child!








Samuel Taylor Coleridge






Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Reading Nature



LINES


WRITTEN A FEW MILES ABOVE 

TINTERN ABBEY




Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a sweet inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Among the woods and copses lose themselves,
Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees,
With some uncertain notice, as might seem,
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire
The hermit sits alone.
                                     Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As may have had no trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lighten'd:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
                                                If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,
In darkness, and amid the many shapes
Of joyless day-light; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee
O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the wood
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguish'd though[t,]
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was, when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led; more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by,)
To me was all in all.—I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite: a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man,
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half-create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
                                     Nor, perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our chearful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; Oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance,
If I should be, where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came,
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake.




- William Wordsworth