September 16, 2010

Paul Gruchow

Hello, Paul.

I've been wanting to sit down and talk with you for some time now. I opened up Worlds Within a World last summer, and then Travels in Canoe Country, and then Journal of a Prairie Year and Grass Roots. When I began The Necessity of Empty Places I already knew I'd agree with you, even though I'd find myself continually surprised by what you had to say. So it goes with kindred souls. And I don't think you'd mind that I claim that.


Other people and other places can tell your story better than me, so I'll let them. But I think it's important that I point a few other thinkers to your message. We are all so busy. It's good, before the leaves change this Autumn, to remind ourselves to slow down.
"I accept, when I am in the woods, the idea that I do not completely command my life. To venture into a wilderness is to submit to the authority of nature. This may also seem a regressionadults command, children submitbut it is actually a progression toward a higher maturity, one that realizes the conceit of the enduring human dream of dominion. Letting go of this dream, even temporarily, unstops the wilder and more creative dreams that we have not had access to since the last timeas children, perhapswhen we expected life to be an endless unfolding of surprises. It is only when we are prepared to be astonished and confounded that we are able to dream productively."
 -- Gruchow, Travels in Canoe Country

Here's to the unfolding of that dream.

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