I am interested in the way that we look at a given landscape and take possession of it in our blood and brain. None of us lives apart from the land entirely; such an isolation is unimaginable. If we are to realize and maintain our humanity, we must come to a moral comprehension of earth and air as it is perceived in the long turn of seasons and of years.
I view the major features of my own odyssey as a set of mostly fortunate contingencies. I was not destined by inherited mentality or family tradition to become a paleontologist. I can locate no tradition for scientific or intellectual careers anywhere on either side of my eastern European Jewish background. [. . . ] I view my serious and lifelong commitment to baseball in entirely the same manner: purely as a contingent circumstance of numerous, albeit not entirely capricious, accidents.
You don’t want a general houseworker, do you? Or a traveling companion, quiet, refined, speaks fluent French entirely in the present tense? Or an assistant billiard-maker? Or a private librarian? Or a lady car-washer? Because if you do, I should appreciate your giving me a trial at the job. Any minute now, I am going to become one of the Great Unemployed. I am about to leave literature flat on its face. I don’t want to review books any more. It cuts in too much on my reading.
As the dolphin becomes just another victim of humanity's utilitarian attitudes towards the earth, it seems as though the ancient friendship between our respective species is no longer entirely reciprocal. Such exploitation is nowhere more evident than in the capture and display of cetaceans for profit. Stripped of their natural identity, deprived of their own culture and environment, the dolphin and whale incarcerated within the oceanarium not only symbolizes an abuse of that ancient relationship, but above all our estrangement from nature as a whole.
But God!Who could live like this , anyway, with the kind of guesswork that was enough to make a person crazy, just sailing along, taking bumps here and there, no course navigated whatsoever, with any big wave capable of just tipping and sinking you entirely. IT was madness, stipidity, and- (then I saw him)
I am sure it is everyone’s experience, as it has been mine, that any discovery we make about ourselves or the meaning of life is never, like a scientific discovery, a coming upon something entirely new and unsuspected; it is rather, the coming to conscious recognition of something, which we really knew all the time but, because we were unwilling to formulate it correctly, we did not hitherto know we knew.