It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it

This morning:
A rather mild and welcome overdose of John Mayer’s more bluesy/folksy songs while eating overripe nectarines beside the window.

This afternoon:
The Head and the Heart on repeat because I need to learn more about former. “Rivers and roads, rivers until I reach you.”

This evening:
Homemade tomato jam made by the one and only Randwiches (don’t worry, I obtained the recipe) and the hope that one day I’ll grow up to be brave enough to run away to Tokyo just to make photos. Walking around in sticky sweet summer, and then voracious reading of Edward Abbey (in fact, so entranced by it that I nearly missed my subway stop and a man jumped up to hold apart the closing doors to allow me to run out).

Edward Abbey, because all I can think about after Saturday night (and morning) are words of one genre:


And music, of course and always music.

There is one more unsaid word, the one that I have failed to mention as a category or theme after 15 years of writing here. Perhaps even then I knew that it would find its way into everything despite all struggles against it.

Edward Abbey, on all of the things mentioned above:

There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere.

We are preoccupied with time. If we could learn to love space as deeply as we are now obsessed with time, we might discover a new meaning in the phrase ‘to live like men’.

I am hopeful, though not full of hope, and the only reason I don’t believe in happy endings is because I don’t believe in endings.

Love flowers best in openness and freedom.

The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.

Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break… I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.

You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to set foot in it. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.

Music clouds the intellect but clarifies the heart.

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, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.

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