Monday, August 30, 2010

Why I Exist

My mind remembers woods that glisten white.
They sing to me the calls of wild far lands,
where I begin to feel my soul ignite,
and I can sense my life’s short length expand.

I wish from now and ever on henceforth,
that I, in this my new-found birth, pursue
to be among the oaks and pines far north,
forever free, reliving birth anew.

But time, right now, becomes a vengeful wraith,
and walls conspire to keep me here by might,
to live in agony, while fails my faith
of chance to once again walk in sunlight.

Yet now my mind recalls why I exist:
to live, to live, in woods my soul persists.

Eric C. Schulz

Friday, August 20, 2010

Laments to an Excitment Unknown

(Written on or around 2/16/2010, title in working progress...)

The coyote’s yelping call
startles me awake
in the silence surrounding
my four-wheeled bed.

Have they been lost and
now are found by their
kinship within the moonlit
woods, joyous in their reunion?

Are they celebrating
as the full moon ascends
to watch a coyote folk dance
in the middle of the night?

Are they rejoicing in
the glorious hunt that
for some small, mammalian
prey, ended in defeat?

Are they warning that
a larger foe, perhaps
a wolf or a bear,
is nearby threatening?

The moon should tell for
what I am to be awakened.
What the coyotes sing
I will sing too.

Eric C. Schulz

A Mathematical Window View

(This was written on 6/18/2009 and slightly edited)

The view from my bedroom window is a mathematical formula. On the inside, in part, it is the euphoric sound of Beethoven. Outside, is a painting of a Wisconsin landscape rich in maple trees, a meadow, the birds at my two feeders, and the distant red tail hawks hunting for the seed searching songbirds of the green fields. Above my backyard wilds, the clouds blanket the troposphere in a blue and white hue of silk and the winds gently play a song that causes the trees to dance. The sum of these parts equals a great ease and sense of awe. The equation fills my head and gives me new meaning to the world outside my bedroom window.

Eric C. Schulz

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My New Material

My New Material

The ad on the shelf shouted at me, “Buy this material because you will live longer and be happier like everyone else, besides, everyone else already has three of them.” OK, I thought, because it seemed logical to do what is best to make me happy and keep me living. In fact, I wanted to live longer and happier anyways. I took my material to the register to check out, but when I went to pay, the man said, “Your paper parchment is no good here, you will need plastic because it is better and everyone else already has three of them.” So I exchanged my paper parchment for plastic and used it to buy my new material because I could not convince myself that it was not important, after all, my life depended on it.

When I arrived at home, I set the material on my kitchen table to get a good look at it and contemplated how wonderful my life was now that I had this new material. Taking a step back, I focused my eyes on my new material to see what it could do.

The material stared at me, and I at it.

My mind suddenly raced with questions: Where was my guarantee of vitality and euphoria? Where was my warranty should my material break? I checked the receipt and read the fine print at the bottom. It read: happiness and length of life is not guaranteed and warranties are available for purchase. Cash only.

As I angrily put my material back in its bag and violently threw it in the trash, I noticed a flyer that fell on the floor from the bag.

In large print it read: To be happy, be frugal, or die buying.

Eric C. Schulz

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Defining the "Road"

One of my favorite authors, whom many of you may already know, wrote a sort of poem or song about the beginning of a journey. It goes as follows:

The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

That author was John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien) and the poem/song comes from the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and was sung by Bilbo Baggins. Now, you may think that I'm being silly for including a poem from the Lord of the Rings books, but consider the words and I can explain to you why they are important. 

Tolkien capitalizes the "Road" in the poem. I take the word "Road" to refer to the path or journey of life that we all take. If I can follow that path, I will follow it for as long as I can because I never know where death might lurk around some dark turn in the trail. Therefore, I must follow it "with eager feet." I know that this sounds morbid, but I think that at some point in our lives we all must consider the fact that we don't know how long we will live. This thought gives me the angst to live life to the fullest (Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero – "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future" from Horace) although there are many days when I do not live life to the fullest. 

My path joins with those of others and many meetings are made. Perhaps the largest crossing of paths will occur in the afterlife, but for now, many of my crossings are made with those around me. I am joined to the world both physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Those are the three fundamental ways in which, I believe, I could interact with the world and gain the most from it. I travel physically from place to place. Thoughts course through my mind with each and every interaction. What happens to me along the way sparks emotions both good and bad. At the end of each errand remains the biggest question that I face every day:  "whither then?"

The best answer I could possibly give is that "I cannot say."  Tolkien was spot on with this song!

I live in constant uncertainty, which makes me very anxious and causes me to spend time alone contemplating and thinking about the possibilities of the future. Many of which may never develop. I am trying to face this uncertainty. To attack it and stop the worry that prohibits me from moving forward in life. I am trying to accept things as they are and to remove the blockade that shuts my mind off during bouts of depression.

For all of the above reasons, I have decided to write more often. I am even contemplating a Writing major in college (which is a big shift from the 6 years I've spent intermittently as a Geography and Environmental Science major). The idea of focusing on nature writing and becoming a writer for a magazine or newspaper inspires me! 

For the moment, I feel my thoughts have run their course. I will leave you (and me) with this final thought quoted from Acceptance by Robert Frost (my favorite poet):

"...Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be."


Hello everyone! As an effort to discover and revise my writing style and to encourage myself to consider a career in writing, I have started this blog to discuss what muses and ramblings come to mind. Starting a blog was not an easy decision because it meant that my thoughts would become public for all of you to read and discuss. I do not share many of my opinions and ideas very openly because it is often very difficult for me to organize them into an understandable, coherent discussion (I have been reffered to as random on more than 100+ occasions).  Therefore, I have resolved to write about my ideas and inspirations because writing has always come easier to me than conversing. The majority of what I have decided to write about in "The Raod Goes Ever On and On" deals in the subjects of nature, travel, Wisconsin, the outdoors, writing, poetry, books, and the merriment and miseries that define my life.