John Muir

From the Foreword by Frederick Turner to the 1988 Sierra Club edition of My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir:

That in reading Muir now we are as much looking through his texts or around their margins, so to say, amounts to a kind of assent to Muir's own judgment of his works' value: that his words were signposts pointing in the direction of the Beyond and that the ideal book he would have composed would have been one without words, would have instead been the act of reverential encounter with the natural world. We might not want to go as far as he did and say that his books represent anguished compromises between what was felt and what could be expressed, yet often in reading them this is in fact what we do feel. It is an obscure but very important source of their continuing appeal for us. Reading Muir we do not so much read an author as we do a visionary who happened to write, and the books he cared to leave behind for us are the blazes of his heroic encounters with that Beyond.


... The state of grace Muir attained in the Sierras was the knowledge that everything — rocks, bears, stars, raindrops, and he himself — was all one, that separation and boundary lines were illusions; and that there could never truly be such a situation as observer and observed: the observer was the observed. Aloft for a brief moment in the condition of non-attachment to the world below, he saw clearly and so became a seer.

(cf. [1], California Sherpa (2000-05-07), Mount Dana and Mono Lake (2004-09-03), Eastern Yosemite Mountains (2006-06-02), ... ) - ^z - 2008-07-27

(correlates: Mountain Meadows, EasternYosemiteMountains, PublicGlimpses, ...)

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