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September 4, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Island. Against the gain.

Children playing at the beach in the sand ( 1929 Health book./USPD

What shall we build. (USPD/

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.

I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.

So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
completely unencumbered.”

Aldous Huxley, from Island, his final novel, 1962

Brief summary of Island here.

Utopias. Lord, how it flies

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

three children walking down boardwalk to beach. 1960 Dutch NAtional Archives (UPD, rights released/

“All mimsy were the borogoves; And the mome raths outgrabe.” Beware of the jabber wonky, my friends.(UPD/


Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / Sep 4 2020 7:01 am

    The world is filled with humorless little prigs. Worse, it’s filled with humorless little prigs whose primary goal in life seems to be sucking us in, like those quicksands. No, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2020 7:11 am

      Ah you already have encountered the jabber walkin’…may infinitely irritating grains of sand slip into their eye.
      There’s a preschool apologizing for “Crazy hair day” – as it is insensitive and might be racist….gee someone tell the companies of crazy string and crazy glue to get ready to rename. Their “committee thanked the parents for bringing it to their attention and now it will be called “Creative Hair Day”…although doesn’t that suggest that “creative ones” are odd and out of the normal and subject to ridicule, laughter, and bullying?
      Crazy ideas – used as “insane”, not “wild, free, and funny.
      Thanks for kicking some sand in their faces

      Liked by 1 person

      • sustainabilitea / Sep 4 2020 2:44 pm

        That, along with so many other “PC” (precious crap?) these days makes me want to smack someone and tell them to get a life. They have too much time to spend nitpicking and not nearly enough of real life. Gotta stop. Breathe in, breathe out, wax on, wax off. Hmm, maybe racist, as it was said by an Asian man so am I culturally appropriating to quote?


        Liked by 2 people

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 6 2020 8:31 am

          PC? OMG. I though it meant “persnickety conduct”.
          May come to mean “probably corrupt” before long. Linguistics is alway fun – more ways to twist and obscure actual meanings. Funny challenge…”funny” haha or “funny” peculiar depending? Thanks for the grainy response.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Sep 4 2020 7:01 am

    True words! Especially now.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2020 7:22 am

      Stumbled across that passage and was surprised how relevant it seemed.
      Have a soothing and delightful weekend
      Thanks for stepping over and lightly commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  3. disperser / Sep 4 2020 7:16 am

    But . . . But . . What shall I carry my sponges in?!

    So many will agree . . . so few will heed, especially these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2020 8:06 am

      Perhaps the question should be “can my sponge float along carrying me?” HAHA
      If you lighten up enough, you could drift out into space…outer space…not like local green space.
      Do you think the astronauts are telling space station mission control that’s it’s OK they’ll just stay up there where it seems to be healthier, quieter, and more inspiring than Earth right now?
      Thanks for lightly slipping by to chat. Have a stellar long weekend

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean / Sep 4 2020 8:07 am

    I’ve never read this before so thank you. Good advice: “So throw away your baggage and go forward.” Now how shall I apply that idea to the holiday weekend? Lightly, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2020 8:11 am

      Stubbled across this recently and was struck how timely. There’s an old phrase, “When the student is ready, the teacher will arrive”…hmmm. Enough to leave you lightheaded…
      Thanks for floating over and stopping to chat. Wishing you a serene long weekend

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Coastal Crone / Sep 4 2020 12:55 pm

    As I read the poem I kept thinking of Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. We certainly need to go lightly and not get sucked down in fear and despair. Have a light and safe Labor Day. And beware the jabber wonky for sure. Cheers!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 6 2020 8:33 am

      That was such a classic movie – entertaining (so hard to find these days). Every time I see “lightly” that movie character comes to mind, too – makes me smile. Never too many smiles. Thanks for slipping in grin and a comment


  6. Littlesundog / Sep 7 2020 7:04 am

    Excellent post – I especially loved the last paragraph of the quote from the novel. It is the progression of a life well lived. Enjoy Labor Day today. We will be doing less laboring on the property, and more entertaining than we have in a long time. A niece is bringing her mother and children for a walk on the wild side today. Picnic lunch under the big maple, and a little hiking in the woods. Simple and satisfying!


  7. Markus + Micah / Sep 7 2020 9:58 pm

    Oh, I love this one. Lightly, lightly. I remember reading this the first time and feeling like I have received very important wisdom that I will carry for the rest of my life. Thank you for bringing more inspiration today!


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