21 September 2011

The Tao of Harrison

I owe a very special thanks to my good friend Rich, who writes a column called 'Popular Forensics' over at Open Case .com, for giving me directions that lead to the following quote:
Shortly after Dave killed himself, I reread “How Men Pray,” and I remember wondering whether, in the midst of Dave’s torment, he might have found consoling Harrison’s belief that a writer is someone who “consciously or unconsciously takes a vow of obedience to awareness.” Perhaps he would have smiled at Harrison’s belief that the writer’s gift, and curse, is one of “excessive consciousness.”
It is from an article in OutsideOnline, written by Tom Bissell about one of my favorite authors, Jim Harrison.  The article is longish for online material, but its very good.  I recommend it for the curious.  I don't often buy into coincidence, but that last phrase of "excessive consciousness" made my jaw drop.

I read that, and for a few moments, I truly believed that I might, after all, truly be a writer.


  1. Of COURSE you are a writer. Isn't that what every single one of us here tells you?

    And I loved this bit from the article, "For Harrison, the natural world was not something to be cherished because it was pretty; rather, the natural world was something to be howled at, gloriously, in the night."

    But mostly this struck me: "Harrison lives close to his mind.". You know why? Because that sentence describes you, too.

  2. You should believe it all the time.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...