Abstract
DI.1 On everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea – an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies – living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and swims far over our heads in the free world of air. DI.2 Regnant ideas, everywhere! Did you ever see a dead vine bloom? I have seen it. Last summer I trained some morning glory vines up over a second story balcony; and every day they blew and curled in the wind, their white, purple dashed faces winking at the sun, radiant with climbing life. Higher every day the green heads crept, carrying their train of spreading fans waving before the sun seeking blossoms. Then all at once some mischance happened, some cutworm or some mischievous child tore one vine off below, the finest and most ambitious one, of course. In a few hours the leaves hung limp, the sappy stem wilted and began to wither; in a day it was dead, – all but the top which still clung longingly to its support, with bright head lifted. I mourned a little for the buds that could never open now, and tied that proud vine whose work in the world was lost. But the next night there was a storm, a heavy, driving storm, with beating rain and blinding lightning. I rose to watch the flashes, and lo! the wonder of the world! In the blackness of the mid NIGHT, in the fury of wind and rain, the dead vine had flowered. Five white, moon faced blossoms blew gaily round the skeleton vine, shining back triumphant at the red lightning.
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