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Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Beauty is Perfection in Combination with Freedom.”


I am continually impressed by Goethe’s genius – his capacity to productively see.  “Beauty is perfection in combination with freedom” is put as no one else can put it, and the more you think about what keeps things and people which are formally perfect from possessing the elevating radiance which distinguishes true beauty, the more […]

Further Thoughts on Grizzly Man.


I have written before that the movie Grizzly Man did not disturb me too much – I felt that the death of Timothy Treadwell – who was eaten by a grizzly bear after spending more than ten summers living in close quarters with them – was appropriate: we all must die, and this was a […]

Encounter with the Archdruid.


Barred owls are supposedly fairly common in the woods of the Northeast, and occasionally they will set up shop on the edges of the field and boom through the night – they have incredibly loud voices.  Last night one started booming so loud I thought he might be on top of my cabin – so […]

The Harvest Starts.


Finally things are ripening up here.  The bulk of the harvest is a month away, but I have enough tomatoes and cucumbers to start giving away.  The standout so far have been the pink mini-beefsteaks, a 1.5 inch cherry tomato called “Ping Pong.”  Also pictured here are yellow and red cherries, Amish paste, San Marzano, […]

Mysticism and Moralism.


From the Coleman Barks interpretation of Rumi: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense. Reading a lot of Rumi recently. […]

The End of a lot of Rain.


Native Thistle.


Walking through the field scrounging up the last blueberries of the season I was arrested – metaphorically – by some glowing pink orbs in the field, which looked like some weird Martian flower which had landed here to colonize Earth.  They were clearly thistles, but the flowers were three inches across instead of an inch […]

Another Essayist.


Reading Brian Jay Stanley I feel I hear a kindred voice – particularly kindred to my writing in the Staten Island book.  Sounds like he knows some Latin, or at the very least reads Burton and Montaigne and Irving and Browne.  Stanley’s cast of mind sounds a bit more modern to me, a shade more […]

Death by Bear.


I watched Grizzly Man last night.  I was impressed.  I might write more about it, but I’m not sure there’s too much to say.  Tim Treadwell lived the life he wanted, had the death he wanted, and his life was then amply and skilfully documented by Werner Herzog.  I consider it a life well-lived, which […]

On Adam and Eve.


Andrew Sullivan engages with the Adam and Eve question – whether they existed – after an NPR story on a few thoughtful evangelicals doing what thoughtful evangelicals in the end must do: repudiate Biblical literalism, and make a place in the pews for some simpler mind. All this is terribly obvious, and I was raised […]