Monday, February 22, 2010

Journal Entry, April 23, 1861:

This morning, I am riding with my uncle, cousins, and brothers, into Fredericksburg; what a perfect parade we make; swift horses with gallant gentlemen carrying fiddles and falchions. Word has come to the Wilderness that the War has started. History will record that this war started on April 12, 1861, but like all time, all life; we can never find its beginning, and shall never see its end. It seems to me that this conflict has always been here. Yes, it has escalated since our Mercer Cavalry formed two years ago, but it was always here, as my family, my land, my world has always been here. Last night as I lay awake in bed, I pondered these times, and all times past. People always say that this present “time” results from another “time” past, but I wondered if that can be so. What if the past results from what we do in this present time? As our horse hooves kick up dust on the plank road, it fades off behind us, into the past. Eventually, the dust disappears; settles, like the past, into forgotten memory. That dust does not spur my horse on; how could the past drive our life in this present moment. How could the past determine the future, unless I allow it to do so?

I always feel as though I am the only true presence in this world, and every thing, every one else is an illusion. Surely, they must feel the same as I. I am certain that, as I ride the miles before me, I will meet many a man and woman that will explain these riddles to me.

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