Saturday, March 29, 2008

cell phones and reality

I didn't switch to a cell phone until last month, when I realized I would spend less money on a prepaid plan than I was spending on a regular phone. Another factor is that there is not a single pay phone anywhere on LBCC campus any more. I am starting to like the thing, and am realizing how much more convenient it is to try to meet someone in the city if you have one. The thing is, it's expected to have one these days, kind of the new reality, where mobile communication is possible. Sure, we got along without them in the past, but why not use them? It's not necessarily going to improve your social life, but it will make it easier for people to reach you, which can be handy.

Mere living alone does not isolate a man, mere living together does not bring men into communion. The common life can either make one more of a person or less of a person, depending whether it is truly common life or merely life in a crowd. To live in communion, in genuine dialogue with others is absolutely necessary if man is to remain human. But to live in the midst of others, sharing nothing with them but the common noise and the general distraction, isolates a man in the worst way, separates him from reality in a way that is almost painless.-Thomas Merton

The Beauty of Things
To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things-
earth, stone and water,
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars-
The strange beauty of human nature, its thoughts,
attitudes, and passions,
And unhuman nature in its towering reality-
For man's half dream; man, you might say, is nature
dreaming, but rock
And water and sky are constant-to feel
Greatly, and understand greatly, and express, the
Beauty, is the diversion of poetry.
The rest's elsewhere: those holy or noble sentiments, the
intricate ideas,
The love, longing: reasons, but in counterpose.
-Robinson Jeffers

Jeffers was a strange one, very intense, a son of a minister, who lived in a stone tower on the coast of California, at Carmel, in the 30's. A stone tower that he built himself. His poems more or less focus on natural beauty. He can be somewhat overly unhuman, and that has counted against him over the years.

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