Saturday, July 6, 2013


Amapola * 

Dear Reader,

I have just read a book (The Shallows) that concerns itself with reading- which leads me to think on the act, function and method of reading (tangentially, writing).  The other book I am reading  (Douglas of the Forests) is composed mostly of what the scholarly folks call 'primary texts.'  I began to read it so that I could make a list.  A flora and fauna list, in fact, but lists and writing I'll leave for the nonce; back to reading:  Douglas of the Forests is made up of journal entries by 19th century Scots naturalist David Douglas (Douglas Fir, Douglas Iris, etc.- Douglas first brought California Poppy seeds to Europe).  Reading these entries is a little laborious, because it isn't written as a narrative.  It's more a list of events; crammed with data that doesn't assist the flow of time represented by the entries.  What do I mean by that?  Well, weather details, and when, and to whom Douglas wrote a letter (it continues hot; near a week of smothering heat here; I wrote to Mme. B., but have not yet received reply).

Now, where were we?

Yes, reading.  You mustn't take my word for it.  Read The Shallows for yourself... it's excellent.  I know, I am always asking for your time:  look at this, listen to that, read this, make that.  So perhaps a suggestion for prioritizing these recommendations?  If you do but one thing, make it spinning, if two, let it be to play guitar, if three, read The Shallows

So, another so:  Why should one do these things?  The answer?  To improve.

The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr.

Douglas of the Forests, by John Davies.

 *-  for the taxonomist and musicologist, this song was not written to Eschscholzia Californica, but to the Papaver genus, or what you might call Oriental Poppies.