Today In Fact, 24 August

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.

Robert Herrick, the man who wrote these words was a gentle vicar who refused to forcibly convert to Anglicanism and was thus ejected from his vicarage in Devon. Baptised this day in 1591, Herrick’s poetry still reads fresh today some 400 years after it was penned.

Fresh as the thought and actions of Simone Weil, perhaps one of the few philosophers to starve herself to death on this day in 1943, in solidarity with her compatriots suffering in Vichy France.

For Weil, “what marks off the “self” is method; it has no other source than ourselves: it is when we really employ method that we really begin to exist. As long as one employs method only on symbols one remains within the limits of a sort of game. In action that has method about it, we ourselves act, since it is we ourselves who found the method; we really act because what is unforeseen presents itself to us.”

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer ( )