“a glorious effort of self-command”

It looks like I’ll be going to a Burn’s Supper this year and that got me looking into why Scots are into him. Poet Laureate of Scotland, holder of the flame of written Scots language, keeper of the soul of Scotland, ok. So I’m looking through his body of work and I come across the “fragment” entitled remorse.

Of all the numerous ills that hurt our peace,
That press the soul, or wring the mind with anguish,
Beyond comparison the worst are those
That to our folly or our guilt we owe.
In every other circumstance, the mind
Has this to say, ‘It was no deed of mine;’
But when to all the evil of misfortune
This sting is added–‘Blame thy foolish self!’
Or worser far, the pangs of keen remorse;
The torturing, gnawing consciousness of guilt,–
Of guilt, perhaps, where we’ve involved others;
The young, the innocent, who fondly lov’d us,
Nay, more, that very love their cause of ruin!
O burning hell! in all thy store of torments,
There’s not a keener lash!
Lives there a man so firm, who, while his heart
Feels all the bitter horrors of his crime,
Can reason down its agonizing throbs;
And, after proper purpose of amendment,
Can firmly force his jarring thoughts to peace?
O, happy! happy! enviable man!
O glorious magnanimity of soul!

So much here speaks to me. The cadence, the vulnerability, the realness. I see myself in many of these crafted phrases. All at once humble, present and truly touching the “guilt we owe.” I’ve resolved to memorize this.  This calls to me to persevere in my noble efforts.


QOTD: Marshall Mcluhan

Marshall McLuhan is one of the visionaries whose thoughts guide our noble effort

The medium is the message.

We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.

Art is anything you can get away with.

The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.

The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.

Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.

Money is a poor man’s credit card.

Here’s an interesting take on the “Tetrad“, a model for thinking about technological change developed by McLuhan,  as applied to Augmented Reality in a talk by Helen Papgiannis.