Thursday, July 16, 2009

Keep your brain in your head

"My 98-year-old grandfather had a party trick, making crisscross incisions into a watermelon, before allowing it to fall open in a giant red blossom. It was as beautiful as a lily opening — and, still vivid, close to what life is for."
--Roger Cohen
NY Times, "What's life for?"

"…So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards."

--Edward Abbey


Happy 14th birthday to my oldest son! I wrote the Abbey quote down while in college. I was working for the Forest Service during the summers and living the rambling life. I could fit all of my earthly possessions into the back of my 1969 Volkswagon Beetle. It was easy to be idealistic about the future back then. I earned my degree, got a "real job" and happened. The forests and trees gave way to concrete, deadlines, bills & babies. But all the time, tucked away in a little handmade journal, was that quote. I found it the other day, going through some stuff. Miraculously, I am now blessed with a fresh perspective. I am again planted firmly back amongst the wild things, look up at the sky and feel hope instead of longing, and can again fit nearly all of my earthly possessions (chainsaw, books, bicycle, camera, clothes & KitchenAid) into the back of my car. I want to show my boys what life is for, not tell them. It is a goal, anyway. Ramble on!


Erobintica said...

Hey, thanks, this is what I needed to read right now.

Gina Marie said...

Hi Robin,

Funny how that works sometimes, eh? I'm smiling, knowing that we connected somehow and that my thoughts meant something to you.

Take care,


BadAssKona said...

Nothing like sitting on the floor of the Alvord Desert, naked, with the blue sky and the hot wind and the Steens Mountains, simply listening to the awesome silence. Abbey and I would have been friends.

Craig Sorensen said...

Edward Abbey. Great thoughts to draw upon as the world comes crushing in.


Aren't those cyclic moment some of the most sublime?

Gina Marie said...

Hi BAK! I'm pretty sure you and Abbey ARE friends. I'm so looking forward to hitting the open road for a trip to Alvord!


Yes, the circles and spirals are incredibly sublime. Just when nothing makes sense, I am gently pulled by some amazing experience or sound or sensation that pulls me back into knowing.....yeah, just knowing is enough.