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.

 

Crafting a Life That Matters

Peter Quigley is his book Housing the Environmental Imagination doesn’t use the word crafting, but rather “fashioning.” Such a familiar word, but one I may have never used.

In The Oxford English Dictionary it offers, “Fashioning is to give shape to, to mold.”

Sounds like crafting to me, but that is not the point. The point is to consider how many of us get there? How many of us fashion a life that matter? Do even we even know when we have?

Quigley writes, “There is so much than conspires against getting it right. Like the crafting of a poem, one crafts a life alone.”

I guess Quigley got to that word crafting too.

He writes on, ” We do it against all odds, and we do it with the crushing likelihood that the project will evaporate, the profile will be blotted out, the language will blur, and all will be subsumed by some governing paradigm; we will fall in line.”

It has happened more than once to me. How about you? How do we craft a life that matters?

Things I’ve Seen

Rattlesnake plant and then a snake, I would be right along side your grandmother. Probably a head of her.

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

1. Larch Cone

Behind every stone, on every branch and in every puddle, beauty can be found. This tiny new larch cone (Larix laricina) is to me as beautiful as any flower.

2. Lilac Buds

Since I was just a boy one of my favorite things about spring has been watching lilac buds swell and finally open. It’s a simple thing, but for me it’s part of the magic of life that makes it so worth living.

3. Trapped Solomon's Seal

Does an emerging plant make a hole in one of last year’s leaves, or is the hole already there and the plant grows up through it? These are questions that came to mind as I sat pondering how every one of this Solomon seal’s leaves (Polygonatum biflorum) got trapped by a hole in a leaf. Will the plant be able to break free of the leaf and live as it was meant to, or will…

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