Take A Walk

Dr. Quigley quotes Robinson Jeffers, “…take a walk, for instance, and admire the landscape: that is better than killing one’s brother in war or trying to be superior to one’s neighbor in time of peace. We could dig our gardens…We could, according to our abilities, give ourselves to science or art; not to impress somebody, but for the love of the beauty each discloses. We could even be quiet occasionally…”

Better than killing, so many alternatives. I chose writing. But still something needs to get me out of the chair. Used to be handball, tennis, baseball, now I do as Jeffers suggests. I take a walk. 

Getting Ready for Dr. Peter Quigley

Dr. Quigley in his book Housing the Environmental Imagination, quotes Thoreau, “We are wont to see our dooryard as a part of the earth’s surface.”

I surely do, it is why I offer up so many photos of the view from my office. I used to think that my dooryard could be anywhere. My first apartment was as a studio.. I knew from the get go that it wasn’t large enough. I needed more than a dorm room.

The good news is the studio had a huge balcony on which I could grill. I had learned from a friend known as the “food scientist” that eating like a king at breakfast and a pauper at night could enable me to lose weight.

First thing in the morning, I grilled either pork chops, lamb chops or steak and added it to three eggs, bacon and toast. I surely made my dooryard as part of the earth’s surface just by the animals I brought there albeit they had already been butchered.  I don’t remember if I lost weight.

Not sure I can tell that story with any success when I meet Dr. Quigley for dinner next week, but I surely enjoyed the memory his book provided.



James Hillman writes in Insearch: psychology and religion, “The ego, with its light attempts to ferret out causes in hidden recesses of the personality, searches for detailed childhood memories, promotes sweet sessions of silent introspection.

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Fiction is as Strange as the Truth

In Story Engineering Larry Brooks  writes, “Theme in any story is analogous to health in our daily lives – the abundance of it vs. the lack of it defines how well we function. A state of heath – and theme – is always present, good or bad, valued or not. Bad health leads to a compromised life. A lack of theme leads to a compromised story.”

I am finding that memoir and fiction writing are closely related. I used to think only poetry could improve my prose, but memoir is producing ideas that are very convertible.

Writers have been in trouble for presenting fiction as memoir. I am surprised that it has not more often been the reverse.

Nihilism Reconsidered

What is Nihilism? Short answer from Oxford English Dictionary is a “total rejection of prevailing religious beliefs, moral principles, laws, etc., often from a sense of despair and the belief that life is devoid of meaning.”

Then look up Nietzsche who wrote in his book Will to Power, “ The extremest form of Nihilism would mean that all belief—all assumption of truth—is false: because no real world is at hand.”

What about the Red Sox? Not real. Jesus? Not real. Now how do you feel. Can we afford to lose both?

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Musers and Musings

Muser –  A person who muses (in various senses); a person engaged in or given to thought or meditation.

Musing -a spell of thoughtfulness or reflection; a meditation; (also) a written reflection, thought, idea,

Muse – Each of the nine goddesses regarded as presiding over and inspiring learning and the arts, esp. poetry and music.

It is official, I am a muser.  This afternoon, it is a cool cloudy day and I am musing that I want an ever-present muse. It is not that I don’t have one, but she comes and goes. Maybe what I will do what Thoreau did as described in I to Myself.

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Value Equals Appeal

Jean-Paul Sartre once said, ” The work of art is of value because it has appeal.”

Is that not what our blogs mold us do? I recently mused that I want to write with purpose, but the purpose of what I write must also have appeal. At least if it is to have value, and I would rather make a living at this craft than have it as a hobby or a therapy session.

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