Monday, October 26, 2009

My favorite new book!

My favorite new book is not a new book at all. The River Why, by David James Duncan, is a story of place, of loving a landscape, and there's a love story intertwined at the end. What's not to love! Below is my favorite quote from the book, pages 53-54.

“A native is a man or creature or plant indigenous to a limited geographical area-a space boundaried and defined by mountains, rivers, or coastlines (not by latitudes, longitudes or state and county lines), with its own peculiar mixture of weeds, trees, bugs, birds, flowers, streams, hills, rocks and critters (including people), its own nuances of rain, wind, and seasonal change. Native intelligence develops through an unspoken or soft-spoken relationship with these interwoven things: it evolves as the native involves himself in his region. A non-native awakes in the morning in a room in a bed in a building on a street in a county in a state in a nation. A native awakes in the center of a little cosmos-or a big one, if his intelligence is vast-and he wears this cosmos like a robe, senses the barely perceptible shifting, migrations, moods and machinations of its creatures, its growing green things, its earth and sky.
You don’t get native intelligence just by wanting it. But through long intimacy with an intelligent native, or with your native world, you begin to catch it kind of like you catch a cold. It’s a cold worth catching.”

If you haven't read it yet you should. It will make you wish you knew how to fish. It will make you strive to live as a native of your place. And, it will likely make you a fan of David James Duncan.

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