N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Great Writers and Poets

EXPLORE, DREAM,DISCOVER

When you HESITATE…think on this thought from a wise man:

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than the things you did do. So THROW OFF THE BLOW LINES! SAIL AWAY from the safety harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER!”

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 to 1910), known by pen name Mark Twain.

Excellent writing is a talent. For some writers it is a pastime of enjoyment. Most likely I fall into this last category. Yet, it is always my hope that somehow, with practice, I may eventually find my way into a “talent.”

Mark Twain is a man who had talent although he didn’t know it at first. He had many words of wisdom, with a touch of humor and a home-made flare.

He started out poor, living in the South of the United States with all its history of racial inequality, but it didn’t keep him from making his own friends regardless of color.

Twain was a product of his times with a mind for writing that eventually brought him fame and fortune. Best known for his books about the adventures of young boys, which reflected his own upbringing. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were among the best known works in children’s literature.

What makes a truly, outstanding man? He usually never starts out to be anything but what he is at the time. God has given men and women minds that can be used to discover the world and learn from it. This is what Twain set out to do…even when he was challenged by a man with a duel, which could have taken his life. The wise thing to do was to walk away…and he did…to live another day…and another…and many years to come. Perhaps even this part of his life is a lesson for all to learn when the odds are not in our favor.

The 70th birthday of Mark Twain was a lavish affair held at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. In introducing Twain, friend William Dean Howells, in quoting Twain, said, “Now, ladies and gentlemen, and Colonel Harvey, I will try not to be greedy on your behalf in wishing the health of our honored and, in view of his great age, our revered guest. I will not say, ‘Oh King, live forever!’ but ‘Oh King, live as long as you like!’” (PBS Ken Burns)

His life story proves that he lived what he wrote in that he did EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER

Perhaps as we look into the life of Mark Twain who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, we can learn something for our 21st century.

BELOW ARE 2 VIDEOS: Twain’s Life and His Famous quotes

VIDEO 1 THE LIFE OF MARK TWAIN

VIDEO TURN UP YOUR SOUND

It really didn’t matter to Twain whether he was sitting with the poorest of the poor or in regal company. He was always totally down to earth. Here are a few of his most famous quotes:

VIDEO 2

A FEW FAMOUS QUOTES BY TWAIN…THE HUMORIST


A Road Less Traveled

Robert Frost penned this poem, The Road Not Taken.  We share it with our readers today as we have just come from a three-hour hike up to and down from the top of Buffalo Mountain in Virginia.

View from Buffalo Mt by Tim Thornhill

View from Buffalo Mountain in VA (photo by Tim Thornhill)

 

 

Spring is showing the first light green leaves delicately coming through the branches, leaving a view of the Blue Ridge below.   A gentle breeze blows and when finally we reach the peak, the great boulders of rock greet us and make a place for us to rest our weary steps. Nancy on bench Buffalo Mts VA

The path is filled with little blue flowers as they grow amid the rocks.

 

It is a path less traveled for most, but one we are glad we found even if our parting words, just like those of Frost, meant that we probably would not be there again.

The Road Not Taken    by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(credit The Poetry Foundation)

 

Robert Frost Robert Frost is a famous and an oft-quoted poet. During his lifetime, he was honored with several prizes which include four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Frost was born on March 26, 1874.  (Wikipedia)

Even though our path today was one filled with the beginning of  Spring, the mountains here in the Blue Ridge will fill with lush, summer green and finally make their way into a beautiful Fall…until the first snows begin to drift down onto the paths and roads.   Mr. Frost must have, like us, also loved the seasons.

VIDEO credit  (Turn up sound)    by John C. Catlin

 

 


Life’s “Splendor in the Grass” Brings Hope to Future

grasses
As we go from year to year, we often look back and ask ourselves, “What if something had not happened…or we had made different decisions…would our life be different?   Would it be better?   Would I not have gone through certain sufferings..either physical, mental or emotional?”

It is normal to wonder about these things.   It is not normal to be obsessed by them.  We face certain moments when we have to look rationally at life and receive it for what it truly is.   That is often hard to do, but it is essential.  What has happened in our lives is what has made us who we are.  We learn from these experiences…and in many cases find courage from them.

I take encouragement from William Wordsworth’s poem that speaks to our human mortality and ultimate immortality.   There is a certain age when we finally see that we are mortal…and life will have an end.   We always hope it is not soon, but we do not know.   I think when my Mother passed away two years ago, at age 93, I , for the first time in my life…counted the years that I may have left.   I know that those years will pass quickly…as the ones in past have done.   It was a wake-up call that I did not really receive…but knew I had to do so.

What was that “wake-up call”?   It was the knowledge that I could continue to look backwards…at especially difficult times …like decisions family members have made that hurt; sickness, death and more other things that could be named.   There may not be an answer for any of these.

I could also worry about things that have not happened…and may never happen.   If we are truthful with ourselves we can not live our present life in a past experience or our present life in a future experience that we may never have.  We only have now.

Wordsworth used the birds and lambs as example of enjoying and glorying in the life of Spring.   He was going to join them in this experience and learn to feel “gladness”.  I want to feel gladness. That may mean stopping to hear that bird.  It may mean listening to a child laugh.  It might be just closing my eyes and feeling the sun’s warmth on my face.

Wordsworth  continues that some things in life…perhaps the innocence of childhood …were wonderful times.   Nothing can bring that back.  For some, childhood was not a joy…but perhaps a life with a husband that is now gone…was joyful.    Whatever those happy experiences were…they are the   “splendor in the grass…”.    He likens this to the beauty of a “flower”…but we all know that the flower does not last forever.   Life in the past was lived and  life that is now is what “remains”.   We then find “strength”  and courage for today from the good of the past.

May you find that to be true in 2014.

 

A part of  William Wordsworth’s famous Ode:   “INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD”

Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
              And let the young Lambs bound
              As to the tabor's sound!
          We in thought will join your throng,
              Ye that pipe and ye that play,
              Ye that through your hearts to-day
              Feel the gladness of the May!
          What though the radiance which was once so bright
          Be now for ever taken from my sight,
              Though nothing can bring back the hour
          Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
              We will grieve not, rather find
              Strength in what remains behind..."

Complete poem by Wordsworth

Pictures by Robert Berdan