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Friday, May 23, 2008

Outdoors, Indoors


Last night in the woods (my cathedral) a few morels called my name. Miraculous appearance! As a rule, I look and look without finding morels. Fungi in hand, two sides of my nature warred with each other, Pollyanna and Doubting Thomasina. Le vrai ou le faux? Investigative research calmed my worries. This morning at the bookstore I was given two rules to mushroom by: (1) “If it’s not hollow, don’t swallow.” [The NOT is crucial. Don’t forget it!] (2) “If it’s red, you’re dead.”

It was good to be in the woods after two evenings indoors. It was good to come back home and spread good, black, worm-rich compost on the garden. Altogether a satisfying evening.

Meanwhile, in Northport: two weeks ago today we had a completely spontaneous meeting of the Dog Ears Philosophy Club here at the bookstore. Never organized, never scheduled, the group coalesced around the low table piled high with books, two “members” in the red leather chairs, the third and I in less sybaritic but adequately comfortable seating. The topic was epistemology. The focus, thanks to Big Steve, was Schopenhauer. No one grandstanded. Everyone listened to others. Conversation took a naturally evolving, somewhat meandering road but stayed within ground sketched out by the initial questions. We had a wonderful time.

“When is your next meeting?” asked someone who stopped in briefly and couldn’t stay. The admission had to be made: we didn’t know! The next meeting will occur as did the last, at some unexpected time when interested people converge and compelling questions emerge. We don’t know when that may happen. We do, however, know that we don’t know.

2 comments:

Gerry said...

Serendipity. The longer I live, the more I appreciate it. It's the only way I can account for morels or for a spontaneous gathering of friendly explorers.

P. J. Grath said...

Yes, yes, yes. And the word means even more to me now, and I see a similarity in meaning as well as sound, since Sarah came into our life.