Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Immense Journey

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

What am I reading these days?

I'm reading Loren Eiseley, - yes, I'm re-reading once again The Immense Journey and am delighted with the prose and poetry of the words and the vast scope of his awareness of nature and humankind, from the very beginning to the inevitable end....

There was a time when most of Loren Eiseley's books found space upon our shelves, - a time when all the children were in school,  when Charles, with his charismatic leadership was involved right up to HERE with the farm and volunteer work in education and agriculture.

I turned in wonderment to reading, went back to college and became immersed in philosophy, english literature, and the naturalists and philosophers of the day;  Loren Eiseley, H.H. Swinnerton, Robert Ardrey, Ashley Montagu, Desmond Morton, Asimov, Lewis Thomas and Will and Ariel Durant.  A wonderful time, - I had always loved school, and here I was, back to learning and writing and reading, and my head full of new ideas and visions.  Loren Eisely was high on my list of favourites - fascinated with the potential paths he led me down and delighted with his words and imagery....

"...our heads, the little globes which hold the midnight sky and the shining, invisible universes of thought, have been taken about as much for granted as the growth of a yellow pumpkin in the fall"

"we have joined the caravan, you might say, at a certain point;  we will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in a lifetime see all that we would like to see or learn all that we hunger to know."

These quotes from "The Immense Journey"

And then, of course, there is the story adapted from
The Star Thrower (by Eiseley) wherein a an elderly man comes upon a young boy throwing starfish abandoned on the beach by the tide, back into the ocean.

And when the old man remonstrates with the boy, pointing out that the number of starfish
are beyond saving,
 and he cannot expect to make a difference,
the boy replies, as he throws one more starfish
 into the water, -
"Well, it will make a difference to this one.

"A modern moral quotation.

 Loren Eiseley sees the magic and mystery of life, from the time when
we first crawled from water to dry land, and acknowledges its importance to our survival.

"I am sure now that life is not what it is purported to be and that nature, in the canny
words of the Scotch theologue, "is not as natural as it looks."

Says Eiseley - "At the core of the universe, the face of God wears a smile"

and he cautions....

"The need is not really for more brains, the need is now for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger and the bear.  The hand that hefted the ax, out of some old blind allegiance to the past fondles the machine gun as lovingly.  It is a habit man will have to break to survive, but the roots go very deep."


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Some fine thoughts and words. I must investigate further.

Hildred said...

Loren Eiseley died in 1977, John - there is a Loren Eiseley Society of people as smitten as I am, at Why don't these kind of men live longer!!!!