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Monday 29 March 2010

Make Your Mark

Signpost Forest Yukon

What will your mark be? A smudge? A rock carving? Maybe a pictograph? Will your mark make a positive or negative impression? All will be dust some day. We still strive to make a mark, fleeting as it is.

Who goes there? hankering, gross, mystical, nude;
How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat?

What is a man anyhow? what am I? what are you?

All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own,
Else it were time lost listening to me.

I do not snivel that snivel the world over,
That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth.

Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids, conformity goes to the fourth-remov'd,
I wear my hat as I please indoors or out.

Why should I pray? why should I venerate and be ceremonious?

Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsel'd with doctors and calculated close,
I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.

In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less,
And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them.

I know I am solid and sound,
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.

I know I am deathless,
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass,
I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.

I know I am august,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all.)

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.

My foothold is tenon'd and mortis'd in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) from Song of Myself 20

I wish I were as confident as Walt when it comes to the amplitude of time. Words, images and actions will all fade with time. Ah, that timeless philosophical question, why are we here?Graffiti Alley Toronto

So what will your mark be? Will it last? How long?

Does any of this matter? I guess it matters today. Maybe that's what we are here to learn, that only now matters. So what are you doing now?

Make it matter...

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Anonymous Marta said...

Wow! I like Walt Whitman's writing. However, I doubt if I'll even leave a smudge. Perhaps I can claim one of the dust particles?
Your photos are outstanding!

12 April 2010 at 13:23  

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