"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

09 July 2018


Wyeth, Next Morning, 2000

I've begun to believe that some of us are not as evolved as we may think.  Up in the country, in my prolonged childhood, I liked best to walk, fish, and hunt where there were few, if any, people.  After a ten-year hiatus for college and trying to be Rimbaud, Dostoevsky, and James Joyce, not to speak of William Faulkner, in New York, Boston, and San Francisco, I found myself back in northern Michigan walking, fishing, and hunting.  There are a lot more people now, but there are still plenty of places where they aren't.  Tennis, golf, and drugs didn't work for me, so for the past thirty years my abiding passions are still centered on upland game birds, fish, and idling around fields, mountains, and woods on foot, studying habitat, but mostly wandering and looking things over.

On the surface and maybe underneath, this may be regarded by some as an idiot's life.  In the very long struggle to find out your own true character there is the real possibility you'll discover a simpleton beneath the skin, or at least something deeply peculiar.  But when you slowly arrive at a point where you accept your comfortable idiosyncrasies,  aided in part by the study of your sporting friends, who are capable of no less strange behavior.  A few years back I tried to explain to a long table of studio executives the pleasures of walking around wild country in the moonlight.  They nodded evasively, but I could tell they thought I was daft.  The same tale told to two or three of my favorite hunting or fishing companions would be received as utterly ordinary, say on the level of drinking too much good wine.  It's simply the kind of thing you do when your curiosity arouses you.

Jim Harrison, from the Introduction to For a Handful of Feathers

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