"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

28 July 2021


While I have the gravest doubts about the durability of any of my writing, few can beat me at the graceful dance of knife, fork, and spoon across the plate or the capacity to make a pickle last as long as a sandwich. I have thought of rigging tiny lights to my eating utensils and getting myself filmed while eating in the near dark: imagine, if you will, the dancelike swirl of these points of light. Just last evening in my cabin, the performance took place over a humble, reduced-calorie Tuscan stew (very lean Muscovy duck, panc├ętta, white beans, copious garlic, fresh sage, and thyme). Since I was alone in the twilight, the applause rang a bit hollow.

To be sure, our limitations strangle us, letting us know who we are. On a semireligious level, normally we have a secret animal we favor, but this is dangerous territory. Never tell a government official your secret animal, since it will one day be used against you. On a more mundane plateau, if you were a boat, what kind of boat would you be? You must be honest, since I can't interrogate you, what with each of us being alone. No dream boats, grand sloops, ghostly galleons, if you please. As for me, and I'm doing the writing here, I have long confessed to being a tugboat: slow, rather stubby, persistent, functional, an estuarine creature that avoids open water.

Jim Harrison, from "The Tugboats of Costa Rica"

I'd be -- I am -- a simple Sunfish.

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