In “A Philosophy of Walking,” Frédéric Gros reflects upon some of the many thinkers and writers throughout history who have also considered walking essential to their work: Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thoreau.
OUTSIDE LIES MAGIC
Chicago, Lake Forest, and Oak Park were incredible. But way more important–I made a new friend.
MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN, SCIENTIST AND ARTIST
Read up on this amazing 17th-c. caterpillar obsessive, butterfly aficianado, explorer and artist!
One day last week I tramped through a dark wood, up a very steep hill, and around a couple of bends and came out at the edge of meadows and meadows full of…could it be?…I was pretty sure…heather! I’ve never seen my namesake flower growing in the wild so this was a rare thrill.
MAKE CLEAR MY WAY
We long for purity, we humans: purity of heart, purity of motive, purity of way of life. But life, culture, our era and place inevitably make it so we can never be as pure as we’d like to.
KEEPING THE PATHS CLEAR
. “Battouflet’s chief concern was the vegetation on the ghostly paths. Cutting and thrusting impatiently, his stick kept open a vestige of the vineyard tracks which would otherwise have been overgrown and lost. It was his single self-imposed task.”
THE INNER LIFE OF AN LA STREET PAINTER
“I don’t pretend to be van Gogh. I’m a commercial artist. I’m one of a thousand. I do simple landscapes to support my family. I don’t do what I want to do; I do what the people who buy my paintings like me to do. If I paint the Manhattan Beach pier ten times, I’ll sell all of them. If I paint the Virgin Mary, I don’t sell one.”
ST. KATERI HABITATS AND PARKS
Saint Kateri Habitats and Parks is a ministry that “inspires Catholics and all people of good will to restore and manage homes, yards, gardens, parishes, schools, farms, parks, forests, rivers, and wetlands as healthy habitats for people and wildlife.”
YOU WHO ARE THIRSTY, COME TO THE WATER
Every so often, I get a definite, very clear feeling that Jesus likes having me around. He likes going places with me. He likes the way we travel together.
THE GUEST HOUSE
Every morning a new arrival,
A joy, a depression, a meanness…
THE GENIUS OF JANE GOODALL
“My family has very strong women,” Goodall observed as she looked back on her beginnings. “My mother never laughed at my dream of Africa, even though everyone else did because we didn’t have any money…and because I was a girl.”
THE MYSTERY OF PERU’S NAZCA LINES
I get a kick out of those “militant feminists” who, while being supported by wealthy husbands, lecture their single, self-supporting sisters about the need to overthrow the patriarchy.
THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES
Sick members of the community are nursed and nourished; it’s as if trees, too, exist as part of a Mystical Body. So strong is the instinct toward collective health that a kind of equalizing principle is at work, whereby more robust trees work to strengthen the weak.
OJAI’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: TAFT GARDENS AND NATURE PRESERVE
I felt as if I were a guest at some exotic villa where the owner had discreetly left me to explore and marvel on my own. If I’d had any idea of the range and distinction of this one-of-a-kind horticultural haven, I would have scheduled my day so as to to spend way longer.