As the year comes to an end, I’ve managed to find yet another place to leave a piece of my heart. How can there be so much to love in this world?After finishing up a second season with Naturalists at Large, I took a canoeing trip with co-worker friends down the Black Canyon that basically rocked my world and spent the following week playing around in my old stomping grounds back east. Following a cozy Thanksgiving with family I then landed in Big Sur, where I pitched my tent to volunteer at the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
Catalina, White’s Landing
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am- a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breath deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. -Edward Abbey
Andrew Molera State Park
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy; if the world were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I wake up each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it very hard to plan the day. — E. B. White
Canada in a nutshell.
Oh Canada– land of poutine, Caesars and unfailing politeness. I cannot understate just how much I enjoyed spending a month visiting my northern neighbors.
Good morning from Yosemite Valley
…Back there it is so difficult and desperately important to find a reason for staying alive. How else should a person go on living? Sheer misery makes one profound. But here there are no problems, mere thinking becomes a game, existence needs no justification. A person discovers: the world is beautiful, and life is brief. -Herman Hesse
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls, and interesting people. Forget yourself. -Henry Miller
Yosemite is such a flirt! Views for days, meadows that glow gold, plunging waterfalls. It had been awhile since my last visit to the park, yet I still had that fluttery feeling in my stomach while driving in, proving once again just how easy it is to fall in love with places, and that true love can last a lifetime.
To make living itself an art, that is the goal. – Henry Miller
Now I know why many men have stopped and wept/ Halfway between the loves they leave and seek/ And wondered if travel leads them anywhere… -Leonard Cohen, Stranger Music
Early on while walking the camino I worried about returning home and feeling as if nothing had changed. After living back in sweet San Diego for four months, I can see that my dear friend Nicole was right: if you have changed, then so has everything else. I think about the camino and subsequent 10 day vipassana retreat I did almost immediately upon my return stateside nearly every day. As cheesy as it sounds, after a rough year in Brooklyn I think they somehow managed to restore my soul back to a more primitive state. If I carry anything from these experiences with me, it’s the importance of embracing each day- its pleasure and its challenges, while making others feel welcome and appreciating the company of those you’re with now.
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face. -Jorge Luis Borges
All growth is a leap in the dark. -Henry Miller
I last wrote during what I thought would be a temporary stop in the USA for bereavement, which somehow managed to turn into a year in New York City. Specifically, after puttering around my parent’s house in California for a few months I moved on a whim into a tiny bedroom in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for a chance at an adventure in the big city with the bright lights. Thanks to a wonderful childhood friend I worked the first couple months at the front desk of a bougie gym in Midtown, and spent my free time visiting all the sights that good tourists are supposed to see while happily subsisting on bagels and greasy slices of pizza. Eventually, I was hired for a ten month contract position at a non-profit in East New York to work on implementing a new healthy food initiative, a position that will come to an end in only ten more days.