Erin's Everyday Thoughts

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

William Blake and an Introduction

Photo: St. Paul's Cathedral, London

“To see a world in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. It is the first four lines of William Blake’s poem “Auguries of Innocence” and does a fitting job of describing how I strive to view the world. Several years ago, during a trip to London, I saw this quote written on a crypt in the basement of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The moment I saw it, I knew that I must remember it, so I rummaged to find a piece of scrap paper and scrawled it in hurried writing. I still have that piece of paper, and this quote still moves me every time I read it.

In this blog, I’d like to discuss passion and creativity, what drives people to create but also what drives them to laugh, to sing, and even to get out of the bed in the morning.

I believe there is so much beauty in the world, and so much potential for good. I also believe that it is my responsibility to find that good at every turn, in every moment. My happiness and my accomplishments—those are my responsiblities, too.

It is in seeing things on the small scale, as Blake describes—a grain of sand, a wildflower, an hour— that I hope to live a fuller life and perhaps make an impact. It is in paying attention to the words of an individual friend, taking note of the people and places I pass each day, analyzing the scenes of my life, and especially in using small pockets of time to learn and create that I hope to live fully.

To close, here is another “Auguries of Innocence” quote that gives me goosebumps.

“Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some are Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.”

I strive for Sweet Delight.


  • Erin, Sweetie, why didn't you TELL me you'd started a blog? This is marvelous! Now, young woman, I fully expect, EXPECT, to see you posting here regularly. I am so happy about this; it will keep us connected. Guess what? I have a present for you if I can just get myself together enough to get it sent through the mail. I have enjoyed your sweet letters to me very much. I am looking forward to reading the book you sent at Christmas! William Blake--oh, you know how to make my heart SWOON, don't you?

    By Blogger Theresa Williams, at 1:30 AM  

  • hooray for erin!!! :) i'm so happy you are a blogger now. i'm looking forward to reading more from you. and i love, Love, LOVE the Blake quote. you DO see the world in a grain of sand. beautiful and bravo to you!

    By Blogger e_doe, at 5:59 PM  

  • Erin, you asked about which Agee book to read first. Either DEATH IN THE FAMILY or FAMOUS MEN are good starting places, depending on what your current mood is. If you want a good story, then DEATH IN THE FAMILY. If you want something intellectually stimulating and artistically challenging, then go for FAMOUS MEN. If you get the Library of America edition, you'll have both books in a nice hardcover for under thirty dollars. It's a beautiful edition, with one of those little ribbon place markers. I took part of my blog entry and made an Amazon review out of it: that's how impressed I was! I only do Amazon reviews on books I really treasure or of topical interest to me.

    By Blogger Theresa Williams, at 3:15 PM  

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