Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Reusable Construction Materials for Humans

I have already posted a couple of quotes from Joseph Conrad's "Notes on Life and Letters" and having read the volume (online, thanks to Project Gutenberg I would like to quote one more passage if you allow me. This passage sums up for me why I love writers like Joseph Conrad, not only because he was born Polish, like me; not because english is his second language, as is mine; perhaps because in this passage taken from the author's introduction to this volume of scribblings from 1898 to 1920 one can not help but to see a man fully aware of the passing of life, fragile skeleton we all build with our relationships to others, the others' skeletons of life; and then to know that our constructions were only a mere temporary housing for the humanity we only have had glimpses of, and perhaps some of our pieces of construction material and methods shall be used as building blocks for others that will come after us to afford them better glimpses of humanity within themeslves, chance will tell.

"This volume (including these embarrassed introductory remarks) is
as near as I shall ever come to DESHABILLE in public; and perhaps
it will do something to help towards a better vision of the man, if
it gives no more than a partial view of a piece of his back, a
little dusty (after the process of tidying up), a little bowed, and
receding from the world not because of weariness or misanthropy but
for other reasons that cannot be helped: because the leaves fall,
the water flows, the clock ticks with that horrid pitiless
solemnity which you must have observed in the ticking of the hall
clock at home. For reasons like that. Yes! It recedes. And this
was the chance to afford one more view of it--even to my own eyes"

~ get the text at

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Brothers in Arms. Sisters of Avalon. Get to Work.

"Work is the law. Like iron that lying idle degenerates into a
mass of useless rust, like water that in an unruffled pool sickens
into a stagnant and corrupt state, so without action the spirit of
men turns to a dead thing, loses its force, ceases prompting us to
leave some trace of ourselves on this earth." The sense of the
above lines does not belong to me. It may be found in the note-
books of one of the greatest artists that ever lived, Leonardo da
Vinci. It has a simplicity and a truth which no amount of subtle
comment can destroy.

The Master who had meditated so deeply on the rebirth of arts and
sciences, on the inward beauty of all things,--ships' lines,
women's faces--and on the visible aspects of nature was profoundly
right in his pronouncement on the work that is done on the earth.
From the hard work of men are born the sympathetic consciousness of
a common destiny, the fidelity to right practice which makes great
craftsmen, the sense of right conduct which we may call honour, the
devotion to our calling and the idealism which is not a misty,
winged angel without eyes, but a divine figure of terrestrial
aspect with a clear glance and with its feet resting firmly on the
earth on which it was born.

And work will overcome all evil, except ignorance, which is the
condition of humanity and, like the ambient air, fills the space
between the various sorts and conditions of men, which breeds
hatred, fear, and contempt between the masses of mankind, and puts
on men's lips, on their innocent lips, words that are thoughtless
and vain."

~ Joseph Conrad on Tradition

There is work to be done. An Honourable Tradition. A BadaBing work of Entropy Reversals.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Writing & Blogging

"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of -- but do it in private, and wash your hands afterwards." -- R. Heinlein