Vegetal Consciousness and Agency in an Anthropocentric World This is a transformative exposition of the nature of plants and their relation to humans and the earth. Rarely do we see a concentration on the cognitive and biological nature of plants. https://punctumbooks.com/titles/covert-plants/
Ivan Illich & Jerry Brown – Natural Affinities?
THE ART OF SUFFERING by Jerry Brown When in 1976, I first met Ivan Illich at the Green Gulch Farm, he told me that his current focus was the study of economics. Then, I didn't understand that by the word economics, Illich meant a way of life where things are experienced only under assumptions of …
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A Masterful Story Of American Power – Errol Morris
Robert Davidson – Haida Art – “To Regain Integrity We Have To Re-create The Foundation”
Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi THE WAY-SEEKING MIND
Towards a More Altruistic Society – Matthieu Ricard
Special Human Powers – The Lotus Sutra – Fragments
This is a talk about special powers that people have without knowing it nor using them. This discussion is a transcript of a talk given by Shunryu Suzuki and the transcript lacks fluidity but reflects the actual presentation style of Suzuki. The sutra story shows that through paying attention to what is in front of …
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Grammars of Creation – George Steiner
"Beyond good and evil, beyond reason and social-ethical accountability, rages the drive to create, to engender form." Grammars of Creations George Steiner Jackson Pollock - Untitled (Figure Composition), 1938-41. Colored pencils and graphite on paper
Louise Gluck – Poems 1962-2012
The Underside of Silicon Valley – Rebecca Solnit
Solnit is a San Francisco native and has written about the town from many perspectives including art, photography and geography. This article appears in "Tom Dispatch" and is part of a dark take on the current explosion of revelations on government spying and recently the FBI's admission that it is using drones domestically. From both …
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A Brit Blows America’s Horn – “America The Marvelous”
LETTER FROM LONDON July 2013 America the Marvelous At any liberal-establishment dinner table in London, say, or Paris, the U.S. will figure as a big, fat, dumb child. Enough, says the author, in an adaptation from his new book: America is Europe’s finest invention—and ultimate aspiration. By A. A. GillIllustration by Barry Blitt KING OF THE WORLD The …
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Saul Bellow: Letters
Excellent writing about a master of fiction and American life. Saul Bellow: Letters In the newly published collected correspondence of Saul Bellow... BY LEO ROBSON PUBLISHED 11 NOVEMBER 2010 Letters Saul Bellow, edited by Benjamin Taylor Penguin, 571pp, £30 "Of course I am not a Freudian," Saul Bellow wrote to Philip Roth in 1974. "For one fierce …
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Thinking Out Loud
Only citizens through their responsive government can monitor and guide the behaviour of corporations and their interaction with people and the natural, fragile earth. We need more people who are intelligent, informed, and unbiased and who articulate the truths that media won't.-rlw
The Decisive Moment – Henri Cartier-Bresson
An excellent introduction to the man. This is a slide show presentation with Henri narrating. His poetic personality comes through clearly. He has a very unique sense of what photography is to him.
Going To The Sun
The Stranger by Albert Camus - Impressions 1942 Prose that is crisp and spare and precise. Fragments of humanity that are turned this way and that to develop a character in time and place. Meursault is detached and self-sufficient. His social needs are minimal. He is authentic and sure of his senses and is comfortable …
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Bill Moyers Interviews Oregon’s Barry Lopez
Barry Lopez has lived in the foothills of the Oregon Cascade mountains for 40 years. As a younger man he was a landscape photographer. He is unsurpassed as a western naturalist, scientist and philosopher. He is of course a journalist. His grasp of humanity is deep and highly spiritual. He sees the human situation as …
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Valerie & T.S. Eliot
An interesting character sketch and story. One that brings both people to life in a clear, crisp way. Valerie Eliot B. 1926 | By SAM ANDERSON Valerie and T. S. Eliot in 1957. (Angus McBean, from Houghton Library, Harvard University) SURELY SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG WITH TIME. How else to explain that T. S. Eliot’s second wife, …
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Kenneth Rexroth on Morris Graves – 1955
It is rare that a towering intellect will let an artist have the last words on the judgement of his own work and worth. But Rexroth has done just that here in this 1955 piece. This essay is a wide-ranging contemplation of Graves when he was in his prime. Rexroth was in his prime as …
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Italo Calvino – Mr Palomar’s Philosophical Book of Mental Illustrations, Or Poets, Take Back The World.
Mr Palomar is an accomplished practitioner of zen buddhism. He is astute at seeing what is before him as it is. Where he gets into trouble is when seeing, or being, is not enough and he needs to develop his strategies and plans together with his angst at trying to do the right thing in …
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David Remnick – Art of The Profile – The New Yorker
“The Practice of the Wild” – Gary Snyder
George Steiner – Paris Review
It is a very peculiar climate, summed up by that man of undoubted genius, Monsieur Derrida, when he says that every text is a “pretext.” This is one of the most formidably erroneous, destructive, brilliantly trivial wordplays ever launched. Meaning what? That whatever the stature of the poem, it waits for the deconstructive commentator; it …
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Haida Animal People – Pacific
"The Haida believed both animals and people had souls, which were essentially the same. The bodies of different animals were merely their "canoes" and all were capable of assuming other forms at will; "or better, they possessed a human form, and assumed their other forms when consorting with men." The killer whales were believed to …
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Gary Synder – A Curse
Volcano Woman - Wayne Young - Northwest Coast (Nisga’a / Haida) acrylic on paper 30" x 23" 2005 ----------------------------------------- He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village The Dimensions of a Haida Myth Gary Synder The Curse From the Foreward: "A curse on monocultural industrial civilization and its almost deified economic and political systems that compete, exploit, an …
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David Ferry’s Beautiful Theft – Dan Chiasson
Poetry is innately related to theft. The lyre was invented, the Greeks tell us, by Hermes, who then gave the instrument to Apollo as compensation for stealing cattle. One reason people’s aversion to poetry sometimes passes over into strong annoyance, or even resentment, is that poems steal our very language out from under us and …
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N + 1: The Intellectual Situation
N + 1 has published an essay in their November, 2012 issue titled, "The Intellectual Situation". It is a frolic through the current "serious" national commercial literary front, with assorted, some frontal others just a hip bump, attacks on The Atlantic, Harpers, The New Yorker and finally the Paris Review. The subtext is how each …
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Impressions of “Dispatches” by Michael Herr
Leading Image: The Desire and the Satisfaction, 1893 (pastel on card), by Jan Theodore Toorop (1858–1928) Impressions of "Dispatches" by Michael Herr I am a long way into Dispatches and I remember the experience like I do my own dreams. Herr's book is poetic in force: showing the inside of Herr's brain more than most authors …
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John Muir’s Description of The Pacific Northwest in 1901
"The vast Pacific Coast reserves in Washington and Oregon--the Cascade, Washington, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Bull Run, and Ashland, named in order of size--include more than 12,500,000 acres of magnificent forests of beautiful and gigantic trees. They extend over the wild, unexplored Olympic Mountains and both flanks of the Cascade Range, the wet and the dry. …
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Bolivia Enshrines Natural World’s Rights With Equal Status for Mother Earth
photo: Esto es Bolivia Bolivia enshrines natural world's rights with equal status for Mother Earth Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation John Vidal in La Paz ,The Guardian, Sunday 10 April 2011 13.17 EDT Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all …
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Literary Estimations – Gore Vidal on Italo Calvino
Gore Vidal has always been highly intelligent, disciplined and cranky, and as this video shows, has left himself open to being dismantled due to his use of crude attacks on literary colleagues - not only attacks, but outright belittlement. No one can relish the idea of going up against his sharp tongue. However, by doing …
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The San Francisco Renaissance – Kenneth Rexroth
Czeslaw Milosz – Biography – The Wilno Poet Under California Skies
Czeslaw Milosz - The Wilno Poet Under California Skies November 2012 It is not an anomaly to be transformed by the breadth and scope of the Northern California landscape. To stand on a mountain and look over the rocky shore and the expanse of the blue Pacific is a powerful sensation. While one's awe eventually …
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The Third Mind – Asian Influence of the American Perception
The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent
The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent Gianni Dagli Orti/Art Resource A painting of 17th-century Venice, with a view of the banks of the Grand Canal and the Doge’s Palace, by Leandro Bassano. <nyt_byline> By CHRYSTIA FREELAND Published: October 13, 2012 IN the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. At the …
THE VEXING SIMPLICITY OF NEIL YOUNG – Alec Wilkinson
OCTOBER 17, 2012 THE VEXING SIMPLICITY OF NEIL YOUNG POSTED BY ALEC WILKINSON I was a little surprised when Neil Young published his memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” because he is the only artist I have ever encountered who is proud of not reading. Reading would distract him from writing songs, he once told me, meaning interfere …
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Seattle and Its Mayor, Mike McGinn – Were We Ever a Civilized Part of the World?
Seattle and Its Mayor - Were We Ever a Civilized Part of the World? Seattle, like the rest of the nation, has decided that cordiality - respect of opinion and differences - is yesterday's practice. Several months ago a local journalist said this: "I honestly believe that Mayor Mike McGinn is the worst office …
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One-Straw Reveloution – M. Fukuoka – Zen
A Village Without War and Peace A snake seizes a frog in its mouth and slips away into the grass. A girl screams. A brave lad bares his feelings of loathing and flings a rock at the snake. The others laugh. I turn to the boy who threw the stone: “What do you think that’s …
Obama’s Way – October 2012
“There are some things about being president that I still have difficulty doing,” he said. “For example, faking emotion. Because I feel it is an insult to the people I’m dealing with. For me to feign outrage, for example, feels to me like I’m not taking the American people seriously. I’m absolutely positive that I’m …
Scientists Adopt Tiny Washington Island as a Warming Bellwether
Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times Cathy Pfister is part of a team of scientists conducting research on Tatoosh Island, Wash. By STACEY SOLIE Published: October 6, 2012 ﬁ Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellwether By STACEY SOLIE TATOOSH ISLAND, Wash. — From a stretch of rocky shoreline on this tiny island, one …
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A Day Looking – Northern Whidbey Island
Chief Seattle’s 1854 Speech
AUTHENTIC TEXT OF CHIEF SEATTLE'S TREATY ORATION "CHIEF SEATTLE'S 1854 ORATION" - ver . 1 Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change. Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My words are like …
THEREFORE, YE SOFT PIPES, PLAY ON – ECHOVAR
PHOTO BY AP PHOTO/PAUL SAKUMA
James Hillman – Dream’s Language
Dreams follow their own logic. And the use of logic is a poor choice of words. Is there a beginning, middle and end? Or does our waking mind force the linear script onto the contents? Dreams often do not recognize time and therefore a linear story line is not the point. What is the point? …
Walt Whitman’s Advice to Poets
From the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass: “Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat …
America’s Literary Critic – Louis Menand
Lincoln – Poetics, Character, Precipice of War and Human Design.
Lincoln - Poetics, Character, Precipice of War and Human Design. Upon reading Edmund Wilson's profile of Lincoln in "Patriotic Gore - Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War," I am taken by the literary and poetic drama of the account. Lincoln is shown to be chiefly literary in character — it is what …
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T.S. Elliot – Tradition & the Individual Talent
T.S. Eliot - Tradition & the Individual Talent T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). The Sacred Wood. 1921. Tradition and the Individual Talent I IN English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to “the tradition” or to “a tradition”; at most, we employ the adjective in saying that the …
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Joan Didion – Blue Nights
Joan Didion is a writer I have enjoyed for many years. Her writing style is very direct and clear, and I think of Hemingway and Northern California's influence on her. I did not plan to read this book as I knew that it was focused on the death of her daughter and it is not …