‘…We and the storm were one’–and that we would be better, perhaps, speaking not of states of mind, but rather of atmospheres of mind or meteorologies of mind (341).
There are two intertwined histories of modern wayfaring. One involves the willful wanderer, the Borrovian or Whitmanesque walker, out for the romance of the way. The other–a shadow history, darker and harder to see–involves the tramps, the hobos the vagrants, the dispossessed, the fugitives, the harmed and the jobless, bodging life together as they ‘padded’… Read More MacFarlane, Robert “The Old Ways” (Viking 2012)
‘As I watch [the world],’ wrote Nan Shepherd in 1945, ‘it arches its back, and each layer of landscape bristles.’ It is a brilliant observation about observation. Shepherd knew that ‘landscape’ is not something to be viewed and appraised from a distance, as if it were a panel in a frieze or a canvas in… Read More MacFarlane, Robert “The Old Ways” (Viking 2012)
In the Museum of the Botanical Gardens of Lisbon, there is a wooden chest of fifty-six drawers presented in 1560 to King Pedro V of Portugal by Vasco de Gama. Each of the drawers of the chest was made of a different species of tropical hardwood, and each of these fifty-six species was at the… Read More MacFarlane, Robert “The Old Ways” (Viking 2012)