All posts tagged: Love

The flip side of ignorance

We seem to be wallowing in a great deal of ignorance these days. In Margaret Renkl’s wonderful debut book Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss, she makes the comment that “It takes a lot of nerve” for someone like herself, who is “so ignorant of true wilderness” to put herself forward as a nature writer. But then she adds, “the flip side of ignorance is astonishment, and I am good at astonishment.” So many today seem content to settle in the midst of their ignorance and not face life with astonishment, awe, and a sense of wonder. As Renkl shows, that approach is their loss, but also, in many ways, ours as well. We are all connected, humans and non-human. Those who choose to abandon a sense of astonishment and wonder and settle in their ignorance continue to make decisions—often with very harmful consequences—that affect every other thing on this planet. “Every day the world is teaching me what I need to know to be in the world,” Renkl writes in another passage …

At Prospect Hill in 1982

35 reasons I’d do it all over again

Thirty-five years ago tomorrow – March 20th – Candice and I started our adventure together.  I remember the first time I saw Candice.  She was coming around the corner of an office cubicle at the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office — where we’d both just been hired — and I thought, “Wow!”  (That’s a technical term meaning, “This could be interesting!”) As I got to know her over the months and years, my initial assessment was more than confirmed. In her book Two-Part Invention:  The Story of a Marriage, Madeleine L’Engle describes the evening that her husband Hugh proposed to her. “We went to one of our favorite restaurants in the Village, and after dinner he came home with me.  We talked.  About this, about that. He suggested that we play records, and chose Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. He picked up a book of poetry off the shelf and began leafing through it, and then read me Conrad Aiken’s beautiful words: Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you …