Morning Trip (288)

“One final piece 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 there. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, 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, that 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 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, at a 1987 Earth First! rally

Morning Trip (250)

“I watch the running sheets of light raised on the creek’s surface. The sight has the appeal of the purely passive, like the racing of light under clouds on a field, the beautiful dream at the moment of being dreamed. The breeze is the merest puff, but you yourself sail headlong and breathless under the gale force of the spirit.”
–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Morning Trip (249)

“But if I can bear the nights, the days are a pleasure. I walk out; I see something, some event that would otherwise have been utterly missed and lost; or something sees me, some enormous power brushes me with its clean wing, and I resound like a beaten bell.”
–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Morning Trip (246)

“God is more glorified by a man who uses the good things of this life in simplicity and with gratitude than by the nervous asceticism of someone who is agitated about every detail of his self-denial….His[the latter’s] struggle for perfection becomes a battle of wits with the Creator who made all things good.”
–Thomas Merton

Morning Trip (231)

“Transcendence or detachment, leaving the body, pure love, lack of jealousy–that’s the vision we are given in our culture, generally, when we thing of the highest thing…Another way to look at it is that the aim of the person is not to be detached, but to be more attached–to be attached to working; to be attached to making chairs or something that helps everyone; to be attached to beauty, to be attached to music.”
–Robert Bly

Morning Trip (225)

“I certainly wasn’t happy. Happiness has to do with reason, and only reason earns it. What I was given was the thing you can’t earn, and can’t keep, and often don’t even recognize at the time; I mean joy.”
–Ursula K. Le Guin

Morning Trip (222)

“I wanted a perfect ending…Now I’ve learned the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end…[L]ife is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”
–Gilda Radner