Sunday, December 16, 2012

On going home cont.


A fav I have posted before from the phenomenal book "Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad:

"And then, I repeat, I was going home- to the home distant enough for all its hearthstones to be like one hearthstone, by which the humblest of us has the right to sit. We wander in our thousands over the face of the earth, the illustrious and the obscure, earning beyond the seas our fame, our money, or only a crust of bread; but it seems to me that for each of us going home must be like going to render an account.

We return to face our superiors, our kindred, our friends- those whom we obey, and those who we love; but even they who have neither, the most free, lonely, irresponsible and bereft of ties,- even those for whom home holds no dear face, no familiar voice, even they have to meet the spirit that dwells within the land, under its sky, in its air, in its valleys, and on its rises, in its fields in its water and its trees- a mute friend, judge, and inspirer. Say what you like, to get its joy, to breathe its peace, to face its truth, one must return with a clear conscience.

All this may seem shear sentimentalism; and indeed very few of us have the will or capacity to look consciously under the surface of familiar emotions. There are the girls we love, the men we look up to, the tenderness, the friendship, the opportunities, the pleasures! But the fact remain that must touch your reward with clean hands, lest it turn to dead leaves, to thorns, in your grasp. I think it is lonely, without a fireside or an affection they may call their own, those who return not to a dwelling but to the land itself, to meet its disembodied, eternal and unchanging spirit- it is those who understand best its severity, its saving power, the grace of its secular right to our fidelity, to our obedience.

Yes! few of us understand, but we all feel it through, and I say all without exception, because those who do not feel do not count. Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life."
-Marlowe

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