April 15th, 2005
One of my favourite things about reading has always been the research that arises from it. The connections from one place to another. A novel by Harrison has me looking up many words in the dictionary, different species of birds in my Peterson’s Field Guide (an old green covered volume circa 1952, I excitedly picked up for 25 cents at a yard sale), towns and villages in my world atlas, a multitude of authors including Henry Miller, Octavio Paz, Mary Douglas, Loren Eiseley, the list is endless. You will often find me reading with a pile of books spewn about. Maybe I am a researcher at heart, I so enjoy flipping through the thin, onion skin pages of dusty volume, the older the better. The Road Home has been a jackpot of references to other works, and my hungry page flipping fingers are happily placated. I believe in going directly to the source of something, nothing second hand. My journal thickens with random notes and references. I feel a bit like Nancy Drew again, attempting to get into the inner workings of the writer.
In one part Jim Harrison writes, “that a life properly lived is a “vale of soul-making*” (*a phrase that came from Keats.) I quickly became intrigued and had to research this concept. In short Keats was implying that “the soul grew and matured through love and suffering”. If we are to avoid these things we do not grow fully. Appropriate today for a culture that often medicates everything. I found a great paragraph discussing this if you care to read further.
Somewhat on this theme a new book meme is circulating and its rules are these (via ever so humble):
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
“Clearing clutter is about letting go and trusting the process of life to bring you what you need when you need it.” -Karen Kingston (Clearing Clutter with Feng Shui)
*I admit to looking around the room for a ‘cooler’ book, before I read that sentence, but alas this was the closest one.