Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Losing My Voice but Remembering Emerson

I worry sometimes when I go what seems to me too long in-between postings at ASZ. I worry about a lot of things. Did I mention that my husband is grinding his teeth again during the night? Big deal, eh? I know I am not the Lone Ranger of Worry here on the Happy Planet. But, damnit... I have not miraculously transcended this place and time, nor has the Mother Ship signaled that I should head for the appointed rendezvous place ... yet. I'm spending about equal amounts of time keeping up with current events on-line and playing mindless games of skill. I read the blogs that are now supposedly shambling toward decrepitude (or so goes the pronouncement). I go to work. I even cracked Kevin Phillips' American Dynasty on Sunday. I put my head down and do what I need to do. That's how we phrase it in my family. I read once that the "enlightened life" is like that. Cowabunga!

So after a short CRT-light-bathed nap tonight, I have Ralph Waldo Emerson and the American Transcendentalists on my mind, so to speak. (self-psychological analysis ... seeking that transcendence mentioned above) I won't provide you with any pithy commentary on Emerson, just show you what I needed to remind myself tonight.
Emerson on Politics:
"Gold and iron are good
To buy iron and gold;
All earth's fleece and food
For their like are sold.
Boded Merlin wise,
Proved Napoleon great, —
Nor kind nor coinage buys
Aught above its rate.
Fear, Craft, and Avarice
Cannot rear a State.
Out of dust to build
What is more than dust, —
Walls Amphion piled
Phoebus stablish must.
When the Muses nine
With the Virtues meet,
Find to their design
An Atlantic seat,
By green orchard boughs
Fended from the heat,
Where the statesman ploughs
Furrow for the wheat;
When the Church is social worth,
When the state-house is the hearth,
Then the perfect State is come,
The republican at home."

Continue here (scroll down) for his essay on politics from 1844: Essay VII

Excerpt: "But the wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting; that the State must follow, and not lead the character and progress of the citizen; the strongest usurper is quickly got rid of; and they only who build on Ideas, build for eternity; and that the form of government which prevails, is the expression of what cultivation exists in the population which permits it."

I so love the fingertip libraryness of the Internet. When I remind myself of All Things Good, the Internet comes in just behind, my husband, my children, sunsets, trees, eyes, books, and ... ketchup. You can find the Transcendentalists here at http://www.transcendentalists.com