One Man's Paradise

Thanksgiving

“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful.

It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

David Steindl-Rast


I am grateful for a handful of friends that reach out to me and stay in touch, including readers of this blog, who give me a sense of belonging and purpose. I am grateful to have spent time in beautiful places and the ability to share moments of solitude, serenity, and happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Life

Winter Sun

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Winter Sun, Puntilla Lake, Alaska

A year indoors is a journey
along a paper calendar.

A year in outer nature is the
accomplishment of a tremendous ritual.

Henry Beston


Almost 100 years ago Henry Beston spent a whole year in a remote Cape Cod cabin and wrote the The Outermost House. He simply observed and described the change of seasons to an audience that could not afford or endure the hardship and solitude of such an endeavour.

“The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.”

Even more true today. A great read.

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Nature

Who do you think we are?

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“Our mastery over the forces of nature has led to a rapid growth of population, and a vast accumulation of wealth; but these have brought with them such an amount of poverty and crime, and have fostered the growth of so much sordid feeling and so many fierce passions, that it may well be questioned, whether the mental and moral status of our population has not on the average been lowered, and whether the evil has not overbalanced the good.”

Alfred Russel Wallace


That was more than 150 years ago. Alfred Russel Wallace was born 194 years ago and became a leading scientist, who independently proposed a theory of natural selection, which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.

I wonder what instilled his negative view on the evolution of human society. It is also remarkable to read his historic assessment of our proliferation and its effect on our ethics. What would he think if he were around today? Did his voice go unheard?

On another note, it is also Elvis Presley’s birthday today.

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Inside Out

Drifting

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Drifting Snow, Alaska

“Hidden in the glorious wildness
like unmined gold.”

John Muir


Is it time for another John Muir, or an Edward Abbey and a president with an open ear for the environment and its conservation?

I think so. All this talk about jobs, growth, and profits is so wrong. Maybe it will support this generation and a few more to come, but we cannot keep growing forever. That’s just not possible on a planet with limited resources. What do we do? Do we care?

That is maybe the key question we should ask ourselves. Do we really care about future generations and this planet? Or do we only care about us? Our family, our genes?

I am wondering what Darwin would say about our current state of affairs. Maybe our species is currently the fittest in this world that we have changed. Maybe not.

What do you think?

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One Man's Paradise

Simplicity

“If you will stay close to nature,
to its simplicity,
to the small things hardly noticeable,
those things can unexpectedly
become great and immeasurable.”

Rainer Maria Rilke


It took me all summer to find simplicity. Nature was just full of flowers, leaves, seeds and berries. Colors abound.

The mountains changed their white coats for mineral hues. The clouds playing with the mountain tops, sometimes just putting a veil over them.

Then, one calm afternoon a few leaves reflected perfectly in a quiet lake. It was impossible to miss.

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