i’m reading edward abbey’s desert solitaire right now. it’s wonderful. it’s confirming my suspicions, though, that i’m a suburban naturalist—i wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested in living in the desert, or any other wild place. i’m perfectly pleased with bumming around down by the river, satisfied to interact with whatever insects and small creatures i can find here in town. i might not be altogether content with the state of things here, or any place that’s populated by humans, but there’s definitely a symbiosis going on that i couldn’t function properly without. a while ago i discovered that without forcing myself into at least some human interaction, i transition from delightfully to uncomfortably mad.
this passage in solitaire stuck out to me:
“A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like Delicate Arch has the curious ability to remind us—like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness—that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. The shock of the real. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures.”