scholargipsy: And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced/ As though the sun took step of thee, yet left/ Some motion ever unspent.... (Keyhole)

scholargipsy's Journal

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Created on 2009-05-17 16:18:58 (#349368), last updated 2009-05-17 (435 weeks ago)

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Birthdate:Jun 20
Location:New York, United States of America
It's the fragment, not the day;
It's the pebble, not the stream;
It's the ripple, not the sea,
That is happening.
Not the building but the beam,
Not the garden but the stone;
Only cups of tea, and history,
And someone in a tree.

What began as a one-year Nihon no otaku tour in Japan has, some four-plus years later, finally reached its terminus. Whither next? I'm currently a teacher without a classroom, a writer with an unfinished novel, a cartoonist whose pens and sketchpads are all in storage, and a storyteller without an audience. How and when any and all of these lacks are to be liquidated is a riddle beyond even Vladimir Propp's ken. We'll see.

Oh, and in case you're curious about where the name comes from:

In The Vanity of Dogmatizing, Joseph Glanvil recounted an old English folk legend: the scholar-gipsy (sic) was an Oxford student circa 1661 who, finding he couldn't afford books or tuition, left the Dreaming Spires and took up with a roving band of gypsies. From them, he learned the occult power to shape men's thoughts.

The poet Matthew Arnold, writing in 1853, imagined that the scholar-gipsy's relentless pursuit of esoteric lore had, in fact, granted him a sort of effective immortality. Free of the spiritual erosion of everyday life, the scholar-gipsy had not aged, nor never would, so long as he pursued one aim—and so long as he fled all mundane company.

I don't flee mundane company, and my thinning locks let me know I'm nowhichways immortal. And to pursue one aim, no matter how profound, would mean giving up the eighty zillion other things that interest and/or provoke me. But I like the legend, the poem, and the name...and I do sometimes wish I could run away with the gypsies the next time their wagons roll into town.
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