Fuel for the Walk

« The lessons we learn from the wild become the etiquette of freedom. We can enjoy our humanity with its flashy brains and sexual buzz, its social cravings and stubborn tantrums, and take ourselves as no more and no less than another being in the Big Watershed. We can accept each other all as barefoot equals sleeping on the same ground. We can give up hoping to be eternal and quit fighting dirt. We can chase off mosquitoes and fence out varmints without hating them. No expectations, alert and sufficient, grateful and careful, generous and direct. A calm and clarity attend us in the moment we are wiping the grease off our hands between tasks and glancing up at the passing clouds. Another joy is finally sitting down to have coffee with a friend. The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and cross the ridges, and tell a good story when we get back home.« 
Gary Snyder, « The Etiquette of Freedom »

« Recollecting that we once lived in places is part of our contemporary self-discovery. It grounds what it means to be « human » (etymologically something like « earthling »). I have a friend who feels sometimes that the world is hostile to human life – he says it chills us and kills us. But how could we
be were it not for this planet that provided our very shape? Two conditions – gravity and livable temperature range between freezing and boiling – have given us fluids and flesh. The trees we climb and the ground we walk on have given us five fingers and toes. The « place » (from the root plat, broad, spreading, flat) gave us far-seeing eyes, the streams and breezes gave us versatile tongues and whorly ears. The land gave us a stride, and the lake a dive. The amazement gave us our kind of mind. We should be thankful for that, and take nature’s stricter lessons with some grace. »
Gary Snyder, « The place, the region, and the commons »

Passé trois jours sur la route avec Gary Snyder… La marche est mon moulin à prières, et voici un extrait des méditations du moment.
Les citations sont tirées du recueil d’essais La pratique sauvage. La seule édition française (à ma connaissance) semble épuisée, mais je ne saurais trop recommander aux intéressés d’aller tâter de la (bonne) compagnie des Aristocrates sauvages aux (bonnes itou) éditions Wildproject, passionnante et inspirante conversation entre Gary Snyder et Jim Harrison…

« … the first and last practice of the wild : Grace. »
(Gary Snyder, « Survival and Sacrament »)



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