Monday, November 30, 2009

Pilgrim At Tinker Creek

just finished reading it. highly recommended.

some favorite passages:

"It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale... I can hardly believe that this grace never flags, that the pouring from ever-renewable resources in endless, impartial, and free."

"These are our few seasons. Let us live them as purely as we can, in the present."

"I have come to the creek - in the middle of the day, to feel the delicate gathering of heat, real sun's heat, in the air, and to watch new water come down the creek. Don't expect more than this, and a mental ramble."

"The trees especially seem to bespeak a generosity of spirit. I suspect that the real moral thinkers end up, wherever the may start, in botany. We know nothing for certain, but we seem to see that the world turns upon growing, grows towards growing, and growing green and clean."

"Stone cities rise, spread, and crumble, like patches of alpine blossoms that flourish for a day an inch above the permafrost, that iced earth no root can suck, and wither in an hour. New cities appear, and rivers sift silt onto their rooftops; more cities emerge and spread in lobes like lichen on rock. The great human figures of history, those intricate, spirited tissues that roamed the earth's surface, are a wavering blur whose split second in the light was too brief an exposure to field any image but the hunched, shadowless figures of ghosts. The great hers of caribou pour into the valleys like slag, and trickle back, and pour, a brown fluid. Slow it down more, come closer still. A dot appears, a flesh-flake. It swells like a balloon; it moves, circle, slows, an vanishes. This is your life."

"... freedom grew the beauties and the horrors from the same live branch."

"Creation itself was the fall, a burst into the thorny beauty of the real."

"Here was a new light on the intricate texture of things in the world, the actual plot of the present moment in time after the fall: the way we the living are nibbled and nibbling - not held aloft on a cloud in the air but bumbling pitted and scarred and broken through a frayed and beautiful land."