Desert Solitaire

Here’s a lovely thought, well-expressed.

I am twenty miles or more from the nearest fellow human, but instead of loneliness I feel loveliness. Loveliness and a quiet exultation.

It’s from (p. 16 of) Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey’s account of his time as a ranger in the Arches National Park. He was there about 50 years ago. He died in 1989, and so was spared the last two decades of the “industrial tourism” he so despised.

The book provided my bathroom reading for a while, and so helped me get away from it all (or at least from some of it). That copy was a present from my old friend Richard, who received his copy as a gift. I may in turn buy it for my father for Christmas, or I may just draw his attention to my copy during next year’s visit.

Having started with a quote from Abbey, here’s a quote about him. Only a man deeply in love with life and hopelessly soft on humanity would specify, from beyond the grave, that his mourners receive corn on the cob. Richard’s most recent visit coincided with corn season.

So, I highly recommend Desert Solitaire, and, with the holiday gift season coming up, I’m putting The Monkey Wrench Gang on my wishlist.

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