Summer and the Aloha Moon
Tuesday gratefuls: The USA. America. The Rockies. The Great Lakes. The Great Dismal Swamp. The Appalachians. The Okefenokee Swamp. The Big Woods. Northern Minnesota. The Cascades. The Smokies. Blue Ridge Parkway. Natchez Trace. Mississippi Delta. The Bayous. The East Coast and the West Coast. The Mississippi and the Missouri. Hawai’i. Kilauea. Mauna Kea. Kauai. The Big Island. Bison. Elk. Mule Deer. Black Bear. Grizzly. Trout. Haddock. Lobster. Bass. Walleye. Muskie. The Tetons. The Great Plains. The High Plains. Denali. Tongass. Kodiak. Salmon. Seals. Otters. Sea Lions. Walrus. Lichens. Mushrooms. Douglas Fir. Lodgepole Pine. Ponderosa. Oaks. Maples. Ironwood. Woodchucks. Turtles. Grasses. Elms. Chestnuts. Hickories. All the wild things. All.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: The soil of the Midwest.
Tarot: Going to do a full spread
I offer three long quotes from three different Americans. Tom Crane sent out the first a week or so ago. The other two have a central piece in my own thought and I’ve now added the Whitman piece. I present them to you after this 4th of despair and chagrin.
They reflect, are, the America in which I still believe, of which I am a citizen, and for which I shall fight.
Preface to Leaves of Grass
by Walt Whitman
“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
From the Introduction to Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“OUR age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and Nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? Embosomed for a season in Nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to Nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.
Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable. We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod.
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”