Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Let us not be hasty

We are preoccupied with time. If we could learn to love space as deeply as we are now obsessed with time, we might discover a new meaning in the phrase to live like men.

The sun went down and the light mellowed over the sand and distance and hoodoo rocks "pinnacled dim in the intense inane." A few stars appeared, scattered liberally through space. The solitary owl called.

Finally the moon came up, a golden globe behind the rocky fretwork of the horizon, a full and delicate moon that floated lightly as a leaf upon the dark slow current of the night. A face that watched me from the other side.

The air grew cool. I put on boots and shirt, stuffed some cheese and raisins in my pocket, and went for a walk. The moon was high enough to cast a good light when I reached the place where the gray jeep had first come into view. I could see the tracks of its wheels quite plainly in the sand and the route was well marked, not only by the tracks but by the survey stakes planted in the ground at regular fifty-foot intervals and by streamers of plastic ribbon tied to the brush and trees.

Teamwork, that's what made America what it is today. Teamwork and initiative. The survey crew had done their job; I would do mine. For about five miles I followed the course of their survey back toward headquarters, and as I went I pulled up each little wooden stake and threw it away, and cut all the bright ribbons from the bushes and hid them under a rock. A futile effort, in the long run, but it made me feel good. Then I went home to the trailer, taking a shortcut over the bluffs.

From Desert Solitaire, by Ed Abbey


ed iglehart said...

Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.

-- John Muir

publiusdetroit said...

Most of us, from the time we are children, are taught to fear the wilderness. A place of danger. An evil place one must avoid. And worse; a place to be torn apart and conquered to be made good.

Those of us who have been taught that the wilderness is a place of boundless accord and unity are thought to be perverse and must also be torn apart and conquered to protect the fragile illusion that humans are the highest order on the planet.

Their is no highest order. The honey bee and the bear are as complex as you and I. Perhaps more intellectually developed; for the bear knows better than to destroy the honey bee, and does not claim the briar patch as his exclusive domain.

How much longer will we follow our delusion of superiority before we realize our self-indulgence is a time-bomb ticking ever faster? Our ever-increasing numbers, a pox upon our very selves? Our ignorance and fears our own knife at our throat?

ed iglehart said...


Thank you for those fine words.

Nuh wah doe he yaw duh

treebeard said...

IF one were to send a message to

One might (or might not) learn something

Salaam, etc