Friday, October 19, 2007

Cabin Dwellers 2

Watching CNN talking about the Republican Candidates...after Drew...

I thought some more on what I've come to think of as "cabin dwellers", these are folk who dwell in "cabins" and "dwell" on their surroundings...I've mentioned before Muir and his "hang nest", the little room above the Lower Falls saw mill, and there was Van Gogh and his room, and of course the cabin here, and for that matter all the "cabins" hereabouts. Among them are those who take a keen interest in the Natural world...and I guess that's the name for them "Naturalists". I have that book of the Natural History of the Sierra, and the author is a "Naturalist", and a professional scientists. I dont think you have to be a professional to be a Naturalist, anymore than you have to be a Curator of a Museum to have a keen interest and knowledge of the Museum...

Oh, what am I trying to say...what are the Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Space Station? They're in a "cabin" and they "dwell" on observing the Earth. (Some pics on MSN tonight...I'll snag one before I'm through).

And they observe the Natural aspects of the Earth, and also the things People are doing that are changing the aspects. In a way, they are studying Nature and Human Nature.

And the "cabin" has taken an extraordinary amount of work and dedication by a lot of people, and yet, it's just a tiny thing, and what it is is secondary to where it is, as it's WHERE it is that really matters. Someday someone will build a mansion in space, and the mansion will be the valuable thing and what really "matters". But now, the Shuttle and Station are just work platforms. They're utilitarian.

And there are these "cabin dwellers" I'm trying to think of who live where they do to study, and their dwelling is not their primary regard, but rather their "dwelling"!!

Well, some sense and nonsense...

Some of these folk are in fiction, like Ishmael in Moby Dick...lemgetthat opening...brb...well, I could just gather quotes a plenty from Melville, but these from the beginning are favorites....


Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
Once more. Say, you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent- minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries - stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:
Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States
Whaling Voyage by one Ishmael
Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces - though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.


Moby Dick

Herman Melville

Tree in the Door
Oct, 19, 2007

No comments: