Gilders of Borrowed Treasure

I suppose there comes a point after 150 undergrad credit hours where any new information you take in becomes like dirty laundry piled up in a corner in your room. You know you eventually have to deal with it, but more important things are happening in the rest of the room, in the whole of the house, in the city outside of your house, in the world even larger than that. At some point you are doing it because you know you must, not because you particularly want to. So this week in the midst of travels, wordy inner dialogues, loud midnight shows, and an exhausted brain, I have compiled my own list of 25 of what Nietzsche called "Maxims and Arrows" that have popped up in my thought processes and have been jotted down in my Moleskine. They carry every bit of the weight of a wordy paragraph but only a fraction of the words. They allow for biting sarcasm or pensive tranquility or, at the very least, tweets to make you sound deep and dreamy. If anything, it is an exercise in brevity, which Lord knows I lack immensely, and which will take much more practice in order to reverse what 20 years of schooling have taught me. They are the anti-paper-stretch. Commence brain-dump.

1. A writer is a gilder of borrowed treasure.

2. There are 7 billion people on this planet, but of course yours is the correct view.

3. A man raised in a windowless house believes a ball of fire in the sky to be nonsense. But his reasoning is inferior to those who have felt its warmth.

4. By all means, question vehemently. It will not change the ebbing tide.

5. The Nightingale needs no reason to sing.

6. You can paint a wall to make it pretty. But even then, it is only a pretty wall, and is no good for conversation.

7. Cats are the most devious of domesticated animals. They are surely smarter than those who own them, and I think that they know it.

8. Lady Praying Mantises eat their mates while they are still alive. Females are terrifying across the spectrum of Creation.

9. "I think" often precedes a statement the speaker has thought little about. Think separately from your speech; speak with authority.

10. The more you look at and read aloud and analyze and ponder even your own name written on a page, the more it appears to be nonsense. What then of our analysis of Truth?

11. "Why?" Is the hardest and saddest of all questions.

12. Not because I believe it, but because I have the following words written on a blog: "Mass genocide is acceptable," I will be quoted as a supporter of mass genocide by my opponents. The followers of my opponents would believe it. Ladies and gentlemen, American politics.

13. Why must all be comprehensible? Embrace mystery.

14. Take comfort in being Wrong, for at the end of the day there will always be a Right.

15. Boredom is not about doing nothing - it is about how much you are putting off.

16. It is only when Reason has been exhausted that we may begin to Know.

17. Let me get this straight: we have emerged as the victors of hundreds of millions of years of physical, societal, and intellectual evolution, yet Jersey Shore is a thing? No sir.

18. Before a storm, there is a noticeable chill and rising tension that foretells the intensity of it. So it is, it seems, with women.

19. It is after the beauty of a moment that it strikes us as beautiful.

20. There is a buzzing in your ears after being enveloped by the sound from an appropriately-volumed show. Ear experts will tell you this is bad for you, but I will tell you that it is the remains of the Spirit.

21. Is it telling about us that our language has no future tense?

22. Beauty will soothe even the grumpiest of moods. God whispers sweetest when we yell loudest.

23. How much would this world improve if we focused on just one other person as much as we focus on ourselves?

24. This is a generation of vanity. If we smashed every mirror, would we have things left to say?

25. Some people are simply bent on being difficult. An argument with them is a waste of your energy.

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If you are doing this post a week thing with me, I would love to read your tries at these. They are surprisingly challenging to get done! Try keeping it to two sentences (I think I only broke that rule once). Try making the thing that you are trying to get across the thing that you don't say.

Have a wonderful Monday, my friends.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.