In the beginning...logos AND pathos
Book recommendation: just picked up Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder. Workman Publishing Company, 2005, 2008.
Here are a couple of quotations which Louv uses to preface chapters;
"There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover,
and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter;
and the mare's foal and the cow's calf..."
Whitman's words remind me of me and my experiences as a little boy, and the words also bring to mind the many gifts that Nature has given to me, as an adult, and also to my family when we created a little farm ex nihilo in suburban Connecticut.
Here's another of Louv's quotations, this one from John Muir, which pretty much describes my state of being here in Colorado:
"I am well again, I came to life
in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains..."
Hmmm,.. An observation and reflection.
As I write this blog, in contrast to Whitman's observations, I am watching the destructive part of Mother Nature, the earthquake and tsunami, which have just devastated Japan. Mother Nature displays her Shadow side and reminds me that She is controlled by no one. This is a good reminder to me that I also have a Shadow: that balancing (sometimes overbalancing) my jocular, empathetic, compassionate side is my also uncontrolled Shadow-- my myriad complexes, selfishness, and destructive impulses.
Thus, as I look around me, and even at myself, I am amazed that what initially seems so simple (whether something like Nature or like me) often proves to be incredibly complex. I am equally astounded at my almost instinctive propensity to reduce complexity by ignoring it--so that it will be more easily manageable.
I need to keep remembering old lessons. For example, in the old days, when tackling problems that someone suggested would be easy or a piece of cake, my father-in-law would say emphatically: "Nothing is simple;" How right he was! Richard Niebuhr, another of my mentors, often reflected that "if you think any problem or situation is simple, you have failed to understand what is really going on." He was right as well.
I have to keep reminding myself that what I perceive initially as "simplicity" is more often complexity in disguise! I also need to keep in mind Niebuhr's words:"On the back of every good rides and evil, and vice versa." I'll try to think of Nature and of the Japanese disaster that way.
A welcome to readers
As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime: