Monday, December 16, 2013

John Keats, Neil Young, and Me

Things I wonder about….

And Full of Sleep (M.A. Reilly, 2012)


What are the types of things that can’t get lost… Tonight I am thinking about that line from Neil Young's "Old Man." “Love lost, such a cost/Give me things/that don’t get lost…”

What are the things that do not have the potential for getting lost?  Perhaps those people in your life who are your true North, if such people exist--if true North is really a constant.


What does it suggest to want things with no potential to get lost?  I wonder here about Neil Young and what was on his mind so many years ago, about the finality of those we have loved deeply who die and the deep desire for them to remain.  

Tonight I am thinking about John Keats’s letter to George and Tom Keats.  In that letter, Keats writes about the qualities that form “a Man of Achievement.”  He notes:

what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason” (from here)

Is it a matter of achievement to be easy with not knowing?  Is that somehow related to the idea of things being lost, perhaps even selves.


  1. What can't get lost--vision, dreams, heart, a love of natural beauty, the quest to understand the algorithms of life, the beauty of babies, wonderful stories. To be "easy with not knowing" is a matter of wisdom, I think, not achievement. This is a matter that varies depending on individual, life's course, inborn dreams and vision. What wonderful thoughts to consider--thank you.

  2. Bravo, Maureen. You have given me much to consider. Thank you.