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Meet Joe Black

I follow a rather useless bot on Twitter, @tesla_bot.  I say it's uselss because it quotes the man mostly in ways that aren't that interesting, and it does so repeatedly.  I follow this account not for these nuggets but to keep the man present in my mind, and to remind me about details of his life for the story I'll write about him one day.  One of them is this:

"As I uttered these inspiring words the idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed."

The inspiring words he is referred to come from a passage of Goethe's Faust, which at that point Tesla had memorized, along with several other pieces of poetry and probably almost every creative thought he had ever had.  It took me a while to verify the quote, and even remember where it came from:

The glow retreats, done is the day of toil;
It yonder hastes, new fields of life exploring;
Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil
Upon its track to follow, follow soaring!
A glorious dream! though now the glories fade.
Alas! the wings that lift the mind no aid
Of wings to lift the body can bequeath me.


That passage came to Tesla as he was walking through a park with a friend.  He had been ruminating on the problem of the AC motor, something that had been explained to him was, at the very least impractical, and at the very most impossible.  But at that moment, he saw it all, everything he would ned to make his dream into something real.  All he had to do was make the parts, assemble them, and turn it on, and it would work.  Because that was how his mind worked, he could assemble whole inventions in his imagination, test them, and see them work.  He did not dream, he predicted.

I don't know whay I wanted to say that.  I think I just wanted people to know that a piece of poetry in Faust, in a way, gave us the present age, and how that man's mind worked.  There's a lot people should know about him.  Because he was interesting, and we should turn our minds towards interesting people. They can teach us a lot about ourselves, and how far we can go.  What our limits are, and what they aren't.  

Tonight I didn't go to a party because I wanted to write.  I felt bad about that because I missed out on seeing someone that wanted to see me.  But I need to write, and it's okay to make these sacrifices.

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