Writers in the old days somehow found a way. They imbued their works with a language that still reaches those deapths inside and shines a light on aspects once hidden that are not any more. Their style of expression had to be timeless for us to still talk about them now. Most of them are forgotten now. Dust having settled over their pages and grass grows upon their graves. Their spirit survives however in the lines of words they left behind. Many of them developed their style and made it their own in response to those they succeeded. Building their composition having been inspired by those that came before as I now channel what they did and continue to do what they did. Looking at the world and trying to make sense of it.
A “spirit of the times” is a literary mechanism designed to envelop the entire spectrum of emotion and events in which we swim. Concentric circles create spheres of influence we have and vice versa. It’s a feedback mechanism that defines our place. Defining our role on this planet at this particular point in time. Many of us feel powerless with our lot in life seeking leaders, teachers, and prophets to empower us. Some have natural skills while many follow a path laid down for them by circumstance. A lot has to go right to be traditionally successful and for for most a lot of effort has to be exerted in order for that accomplishment to come to fruition.
Just floating won’t cut it and treading water still takes effort. One has to swim to reach the shore. Once on shore another journey begins as it doesn’t work to just sit still on a beach of laurels. Once the season passes they fade and turn to the next phase of their life cycle. Then there are the storms that wash in off the ocean seemingly from nowhere changing the landscape. The most basic thing however is the immediate need for food and shelter and there is no use being on the island all alone.
What happened to those idealistic searches for truth and knowledge? Em told me of her parents when they were young setting off for a trip just on a whim.
“Do you wanna?”
“Sure why not.”
They travelled for months going nowhere yet exploring the uncharted expanse of Scandinavia. They had the time and didn’t need the kind of resources that would be necessary these days in order to do something like that. They had some beater that was easily fixed not the complex parts needed these days. Their expenses weren’t that great and they were able to make and have enough even at that tender age at which they had that trip.
In a time far away characters found each other and helped each other. There was an excitement in the ideas they shared. A moment when in the midst of their discussions it all became clear. If only there was a way to express it so that everyone else could understand. It was all right there. The answers to the questions that have plagued society since time immemorial. So they thought. It’s not that easy to change society. Events that happened outside their control drew them into the vortex forever changing them. Their sensitive artistic souls forever scarred by the brutality of war and carnage. These periods were a time of collective change. It was a time to try to build upon the ashes of destruction. War was the fertilizer for that change.
Everyone always hopes that this will be the last time. It’s the last time that we march towards certain death at the behest of people that don’t like to get their hands dirty. Do it for your country it’s your civic duty. The smart ones seemed to have slipped through the cracks but lived with the guilt of loosing their dear friends somewhere on the battle field. Some of them walked through the ashes of destruction forever affected by what they saw. Their words that I read as a youth stayed with me. They painted a picture of absolute horror and today I see this splashed accross our screens on a nightly basis. Even though it isn’t in my neighborhood they are still fellow people.
Madness sneaks up on even the most disciplined solider. It taps on the shoulder laughing as you turn and don’t see anyone standing there. It’s not madness it’s a slow boil that prevents the reflexes from kicking in. Each day is new and distance in time is different from a distance in miles. You can always travel back to a place but not to a place in time. Hence when looking at these times the experiences of those people back then serve as a warning of what can be. Just keep living life day by day. Live with integrity.