Tuesday, April 25, 2017


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Larry posted this to his blog Reflections of a Happy Old Man on Friday, December 30, 2011.


For many years I used to say, "this is the best year of my life".

But everything comes to an end.
2012 looms ahead as a stopping point.  There will be many challenges; there will be triumphs -- and failures.  This is par for the course, but right now with greater intensity than ever before.
Two years ago, when Ellie took up Blake, a great new vitality came into our lives. What had been my (occasional) obsession became a primary interest for us. For two years we have posted on William Blake: Religion and Psychology, one or the other each day (ramhornd.blogspot.com).
That was a new discipline for me; heretofore I did Blake sporadically for a few months and then something else for a few months.   But every day!! No way, until two years ago. A salutary development.  (It occurred to me that this might have been the shape of my life, had not ten wartime years intruded over most of my twenties.)
However this intensive mental activity came at a cost.  After an intense two hours doing research I discovered I was sleepy (you might say my brain started getting sluggish). Strangely enough it was much like what happened to me after two intense hours of tennis.
Wow! a Discovery! Intense mental activity and/or physical activity led to a diminution of energy - for one or the other.
For an old man the challenge of this is to learn balanced habits that use the appropriate amount of the two activities -- to go from one to the other.  Perhaps this was simple second nature to many people much younger that my (advanced) age, but for me it was a Revelation.
Memory is the greatest problem. Strangely enough a fairly large vocabulary was still in force, but I was frequently guilty of making up a sentence with appropriate words, only to the find the appropriate words forgotten before I got around to writing them; like going to the kitchen for something and forgetting the purpose before I got there.
Memory is something to fight for. There are in fact two levels: the immediate memory continually diminished, but a (largely) unconscious reservoir exists available under certain circumstances. The challenge is to learn how to use it more consciously.  Memory loss is one of the primary concomitants of Alzheimer's disease and similar disabilities.
How can we learn to remember?
Letters, To Hayley, 1800, (E 705)
"Thirteen years ago.  I lost a
brother & with his spirit I  converse daily & hourly in the
Spirit.  & See him in my remembrance in the  regions of my
Imagination.  I hear his advice & even now write from his
Dictate--Forgive me for expressing to you my Enthusiasm which I
wish all to  partake of Since it is to me a Source of Immortal
Joy even in this world by it  I am the companion of Angels.  May
you continue to be so more & more & to  be more & more perswaded. 
that every Mortal loss is an Immortal Gain.  The  Ruins of Time
builds Mansions in Eternity." 
Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 87 [95] (FIRST PORTION), (E 367)
"Mourning the daughters of Beulah saw nor could they have sustaind
The horrid sight of death & torment   But the Eternal Promise
They wrote on all their tombs & pillars & on every Urn     
These words   If ye will believe your Brother shall rise again
In golden letters ornamented with sweet labours of Love
Waiting with Patience for the fulfilment of the Promise Divine"

One friend made this comment:
 Vincent said...
Hi Larry

It's a delight to discover this blog after we already know one another through Blake. I discovered this blog through googling Ellie Divine Economy, in connection in the project Ellie & I have recently brought to fruition, & deciding to make it the topic of my next post on A Wayfarer’s Notes.

I reached 72 the other day which is nothing much by the standards of you and Ellie, but I notice a diminution gradually but probably inexorably advancing, especially in physical activity.

Being retired like you both, it's daily on my mind that my primary task is to go gracefully and to bequeath what I have to offer in a clean and tidy state. In material things my main asset is this little house. There are two younger children to leave it to. A previous one was shared between the two elder ones, enabling them to buy their own properties - not easy for young people in England today. The other thing to bequeath is my writings. The project with Ellie and Divine Economy has revealed a straightforward model: to publish and give them away freely: divine economy in action.

It doesn't matter how important these tasks are to the world. We do our little bit with the strength that we have.

Bless you both for the inspiration you have provided and continue to provide.

1 comment:

Vincent said...

Immortal gain indeed, Ellie.