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Tag Archives: nature

The Effect of Nature on the Mind.


Andrew Sullivan quotes a University Bookman piece which quotes a lecture by Santayana on the effect that nature as – or can have, if we let it in – on the American mind.  When you are in nature: Everywhere is beauty and nowhere permanence, everywhere an incipient harmony, nowhere an intention, nor a responsibility, nor […]

Art Basel Miami Beach.


My first full day in Miami was the “preview day” at Art Basel, the nation’s most prestigious contemporary art show. I had never been to anything like it and we had VIP passes, so I was raring to go. We ended up spending something like six hours at the show, in two separate visits during […]

Land of Contrasts.


At least one person expressed astonishment that I was headed off to Miami for a week – “we mountain people,” she said, “don’t want anything to do with Miami.”  I had a little taste of that in the airport on my way down.  I was waiting on the security line, shoes and boarding pass in […]

Stabilitas Loci.


This week marks three complete years in the woods; I moved up to the cabin full-time just as the private school year was coming to a close in 2008.  Since that time I have spent ten seasons here; and a season apiece in the two most interesting cities in America, a winter in New Orleans […]

Saint Francis, Nature, and Poverty.


I have been reading Thomas of Celano’s two lives of Saint Francis, with all the complicated pleasure of advancing age.  In 1973 the Franciscan Herald Press put out a lovely edition of the early writings about Francis, Saint Francis of Assisi: Omnibus of Sources, a beautifully executed book, hardbound, with maps of Italy and Assisi, […]

Christianity and the Survival of Creation.


For the Feast of John the Baptist: this extremely good essay by Wendell Berry; highly recommended.  Proof – as if it were needed – that the Magisterium of the Church resides not in the priesthood – which is almost always wrong – but in the Prophets.  As it was, is now, and ever shall be. […]



Now looking at a book by Merton.  Everyone tells me I should be into Merton.  But I find him careless with words – so many of them, I find myself skipping them and flipping to the back of the book to see how many more I have to read – and then he sets up […]



“At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the plashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons… I have done without electricity, and tend the fireplace and […]

Nature v. Profit.


This is the summer where I’ll be experimenting with getting much closer to nature – growing and gathering much more of my own food, and in general finding ways to do things without any monetary intermediary.  I’m still very far from this ideal – dandelion salads and blueberry and apple picking has been the extent […]

Peregrine Falcon vs. Snowy Owl


From the December NYS Conservationist magazine, a set of photos of a battle between a peregrine falcon and a snowy owl at Jones Beach.  One of the things I’ve been meditating on recently is the way the Roman Pliny sees nature as a kind of gladiatorial show, with every animal having a special “natural enemy” […]