Yosemite Creek, 2008

With the arrival of fall, I’m eagerly planning our next retreat to the Sierras where this year my fly rod will compete with both my camera and my season pass for attention.

The crisp air will energize the senses and the warm glow of the fireplace will fuel the nightly conversations with friends both new and old. It’s my favorite time of year.

This year has been a full one for my family and I, and my art has fared no better than my writing. My Yosemite Creek is first in a collection that pays homage to sharing your passion for the outdoors with people special to you. More will come as this project unfolds.

Thinker ! This ridiculous name – Yet it’s possible to find a man, neither philosopher nor poet, who can’t be defined by the object of his thought, nor by the quest for an external result, a book, a doctrine, a field of science, a truth… but who is a thinker in the way one is a dancer, making use of his mind as the latter uses his muscles and his nerves; someone who, perceiving his mental images and his expectations, his types of language and his possibilities, what he’s attentive to, his freedom of movement, his vagueness and precision, – perceives, predicts, specifies or abandons, gives himself free rein or denies it – circumscribing, outlining, possessing and losing himself… an artist not so much of knowledge as of his own self – which he prefers to all knowledge; for the latter is only ever the specific act which he himself can, in fact, always refine and make more true, more elegant, more astonishing, more universal or more singular – etc.

Paul Valéry

Reading: The Forgotten Man

It is rare that I recommend a book before finishing it, but the timeliness of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression could not be denied. With all the speculation about our nation’s economic future, what better can we do then learn from the past?

The book, written by a respected economic commentator I’ve followed for some time, opens with the following quote:

“As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of… He works, he votes, generally he prays–but he always pays…”

William Graham Sumner
Yale University, 1883

After observing our government’s response to the recent financial crisis, and listening closely to the economic proposals of both presidential tickets, it is obvious that more education about the consequences of government intervention (in this case the Great Depression and the New Deal) is critical for the engaged voter.

Shlaes, Amity. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression