Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Zenith: Home a month now...

...and no, I'm not ready to head back on the road just yet!

I've been to Boston and New Jersey for a weekend each - good to see family and get out a bit, but on my way back to Vermont this past Sunday, I was exhausted and tired of driving...

Being home is wonderful. Spring looks like it might finally stick around for its customary week, before summer begins, and the daffodils are up and the lake level is going down!

I'm working three days a week at the Addison Independent, the local newspaper, wearing my usual multiple hats - writer, photographer, techie, web guy, and so on. It's good fun, and they are (as always) great folks to work with!

I'm also thinking a lot of my friends still on the Ice (or, in the case of Mo and Kirsten, back for a quick visit to Palmer) and hoping they're doing well as darkness sets in... Send a thought their way if you would - they're great folks, and they're undertaking an amazing personal challenge. As oblivious as the Ice mindset may be to the world, it always comforted me a little bit to know that the World did carry on...

I've been reading a whole heck of a lot, and I've really enjoyed several of the books, so here's a quick trip through three of them, if you're interested!

1. Sun Dancing, by Geoffrey Moorhouse (Harcourt, Brace: 1997). My sister and her boyfriend gave this to me for "Christmas in April," along with a great David Wilcox CD called East Asheville Hardware... It's about life in the monastery on Skellig Michael, a rock off the west coast of Ireland, in the early Middle Ages. The life those men led was amazing - puts the Ice into context of sorts - and was fascinatingly well-research and well-written. Lots to learn about Ireland, religion, and life in tough places...

2. Following the Brush, by John Elder (Beacon, 1993). John is a good friend of mine and was a professor of mine at Middlebury, where he still teaches. He and his family took off to live in Japan for a year, with his kids enrolled in Japanese schools, and everything. It's an incredible story of learning and cultural interchange, told in John's soft, insightful and deeply personal tone. His interaction with nature and the Japanese ideal of nature are particularly fascinating, as are his relations of daily life in a truly foreign place, which, no matter how friendly, is still far from home.

3. Consilience, by Edward O. Wilson (Abacus, 1998). One of those books I saw in about 10 bookstores before I finally just bought it. Jane will like this one in particular - it'll make her think about how science and humanity coexist and the interrelationships between all things, from subatomic particle to universe. A search for a "theory of everything," Consilience looks to unite history, philosophy (including political philosophy, Heather!), science, and other disciplines into a cohesive view of the world as it truly is. A scientist in search of a Buddhist ideal is rare, and it's interesting, It took a whole heck of a lot of brainpower to move through, though, so be ready to work when you pick it up!

That's all for now - be well, and write when you get a chance!

Love, Jeff