The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Monday, May 2, 2016

Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason. John Keats (letters 1817)

Finally!  This idea was expressed in Kidder's book, Mountains Beyond Mountains,This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

as I recall, here, now several years after reading the book, which I note because I may be wrong (But, I don't think so, not this time anyway).  Briefly, I liked this book so much that I selected to read all of Mr. Kidder's books.  There was one I wasn't crazy about, but I was glad to have read them all as they sort of demonstrated a progression of a writer (that's my take) and I would not have wanted to miss any of them because of that. One was very difficult to come by (it was an interlibrary borrow) but, I'm not actually thinking about that tonight.  Not much anyway!

I have not read very much KEATS. Something I was looking at as we blasted along I10 towards the Southern Maker's event (this weekend past) brought the two together.  Now I have begun to scratch the surface of Keat's words, ideas, and quite frankly, I am intrigued.  Keats has arrived at precisely the right time, when I have time to sit with what he left for us.  

"It appears to me that almost any man may 
like the spider spin 
his own inwards 

his own airy citadel." 

Interesting thought ... I'm thinking about that one.

"Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance."

... some poetry, yes ... the type that he wrote, yes.  We are not always best "moved" by "highest thoughts" though, and some of what I've been glad to have read would certainly never occur to me.  I get to see through an other's eyes/soul.  Seems like a lot of writers have seen some pretty bleak stuff.
He died young and though I do not know very much of his life yet, I imagine he was an idealist, or a romantic.  

"You are always new, 

the last of your kisses was ever the sweetest." 

(smile sigh)

Though a quarrel in the streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine; the commonest man shows a grace in his quarrel.


There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.


Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.
"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter."

in one of the quotes - "...I describe what I imagine."  in a comparison to Lord Byron ... 

So, I got a bit carried away there ... worth a while.  
Brent Smith

Sara Pittman

Jungle Joe folk art

These are three examples of what I enjoyed seeing at Southern Maker's an event one of my daughters coordinates.  My husband asked Jungle Joe to "do" a truck for me.  That one was spoken for.  It was very sweet of him to know that something like that would be meaningful to me (and act on it).

(None of this has anything to do with negative capacity.  These notes are connected by proximity rather than relevance.)

I'm pretty exhausted tonight.  "house camping" is a little weird.  Cots. The hot water heater in our house over here is kaput and can't be replaced until Thursday.  Today I realized that I come to completely take hot water (on demand) for granted.  I am never thankful for hot water when it shows up.  This morning I heated water on the stove top.  Hot water feels really really good on my skin.  The lack of hot water from the taps is reminding me to be thankful for  cold air which circulates through out the house.  I tend to take full advantage of the luxury of taking things (and people ? ouch ) for granted.  It's good to do without every once in a while.


GretchenJoanna said...

Do you have a book of Keats or were you reading online? I am taken with the quotes that you chose... Just this morning I was reading about silence and noise, and may be able to incorporate a couple of those quotes if I ever manage to sit down and put my thoughts together in writing.

I loved Mountains Beyond Mountains! I "read" it by means of audio tapes that I had bought, and listened to in the car, and lent to friends who were also very blessed. I don't remember if I read more books by Kidder or if I just read more about Paul Farmer, it has been so long ago, but it all made a big impression.

DeAnn said...

Hi there! The quotes are from "brainey quote" site. I wonder who he might have become had he lived longer than 26 years! I'll buy a paperback of Keats next time I'm in a bookstore. I like to write in my books! You might enjoy TK's book, HOUSE. I've not read Good Prose yet.