Looking out over the vast expanse of our smog-shrouded metropolis, I imagined Satan tempting Christ with the keys of greater LA.
St. Paul fell off his horse, but Christ comes in the form of a lamb, a dove, a heron. That’s not to say he’s always gentle. But he’s often gentlest when we’ve been doing terrible violence to ourselves and others.
His capacity to conjure landscape is alone astounding. Add to that an astonishingly wide-ranging grasp of geography, geology, natural history, cartography, and literature. Throw in the fact that he’s no mere scholar or armchair philosopher: every book is grounded in his willingness to take on the physical hardship of mountain climbing, hiking, camping, sailing, and tramping. But what makes Macfarlane sublime is the aching longing for a lost Eden that sounds like a bass note beneath all his work.
My dear, insanely multi-talented friend Lisa Marr who, along with her life partner Paolo Davanzo, runs the Echo Park Film Center (EPFC), put this video together with footage I shot on my iphone and with a grant from the AARP. I am actually NOT retired, thank you, though am thrilled to be part of this […]
“Our language for nature is now such that the things around us do not talk back to us in ways that they might. As we have enhanced our power to determine nature, so we have rendered it less able to converse with us.”
–Robert Macfarlane, “Landmarks”
I keep thinking of Fr. Walter Ciszek, who said clandestine Masses in the woods, under penalty of death, as a prisoner in Siberia. “[T]hese men would actually fast all day long and do exhausting physical labor without a bite to eat since dinner the evening before, just to be able to receive the Holy Eucharist—that was how much the Sacrament meant to them in this otherwise God-forsaken place.”
One: Is someone out there conversant with Adobe InDesign who would be willing to change the date on two flyers? I am balking at paying up to 100 bucks–though maybe I’m just being cheap. Or maybe I’m just asking in the hopes I will receive! Two: A reminder about my newest book: HARROWED: Life Lessons […]
Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Madame Ganna Walska (1887-1984) was the type of Southern Californian eccentric over whom people from back East love to roll their eyes, muttering “land of the fruits and the nuts.” Born Hanna Puacz in Brest-Litovsk, Poland, she was an opera singer who was married six times. […]
IT IS HERE. My newest book. the back cover copy. “This is the story of the garden: my first, and perhaps my last. I started it at the age of 64. I’m 68 now. The garden brings me satisfaction, beauty, astonishment, joy. The garden also requires an inordinate amount of worry and work. When I […]