Saturday, April 18, 2020

#109 / Don't Ever...

... blow smoke up my ass again.
That command and advisory is the last line in the story of Adam Appich, as told in one of the chapters in Richard Powers' Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Overstory (A Novel). Powers is pictured above.

A colleague who teaches writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, gave me a copy of the book. Free to me!

I wasn't the only one to whom she gave a copy of the novel. She gave away multiple free copies, as I understand it, on the condition that the recipients would (1) promise actually to read the book, and (2) would, having done so, commit to passing the book along to someone else. 

I have, of course, fulfilled my commitment on both counts, but I hope to do even more, by passing along this notification to any and all who may read this blog posting. 

Powers didn't win that Pulitizer Prize for nothing. This book is definitely recommended!

Below, I will furnish you with one of three epigraphs from The Overstory. Since neither you nor I can count on the possibility that my colleague from UCSC might provide you with your own free copy of The Overstory, I suggest that you obtain your own copy at Bookshop Santa Cruz, or from some comparable real-life bookseller!

Now, here is Epigraph #2 (of three):

Eath may be alive: not as the ancients saw her - a sentient Goddess with a purpse and foresight - but alive like a tree. A tree that quietly exists, never moving except to sway in the wind, yet endlessly conversing with the sunlight and the soil. Using sunlight and water and nutrient minerals to grow and change. But all done so imperceptibly, that to me the old oak tree on the green is the same as it was when I was a child. 
             - James Lovelock 

Any genuine "conversation" requires us to listen at least as much as we talk. It is time for us to start listening to the trees!


The following (from Bob Dylan, of course) is not one of the other two epigraphs in The Overstory. Could have been, though! It, too, references that "old oak tree." I think it's the same one!

Can’t you hear that Duquesne whistle blowin’
Blowin’ through another no-good town
The lights of my native land are glowin’
I wonder if they’ll know me next time around

I wonder if that old oak tree’s still standing
That old oak tree, the one we used to climb

Listen to that Duquesne whistle blowin’
Blowin’ like she’s blowin’ right on time

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