Saturday, July 5, 2014

What holds us together - Barry Lopez, part 1

“real beauty is so deep you have to move into darkness to understand it.”
Barry López
The Raven, 2009, by Emmanuel Polanco.
“Remember on this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other's memories. This is how people care for themselves. ”
Barry López, Crow and Weasel  

“Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.”
Barry López 

from the show's final interview - Barry Lopez,  BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, April 30.2010
You need a long shelf to hold Barry Lopez's novels, essays, articles and short stories, the volumes of travel, photography, and language, vivid portraits of landscapes, emotions, and experience. Common to them all is one man's effort to go out into the world, to discover what is beyond and within us. One reviewer put it this way, Barry Lopez "Restores to us the name for what it is we want."

My introduction to the writings of Barry Lopez was from Claire Beynon.   My sense of what she discovered in his work was a way of "inhabiting," a word that comes to me often and speaks of being in and of ourselves and our lives, rather than napping on the surface so the bedspread doesn't get rumpled.  I am reading his DESERT NOTES.  I am reminded that in every moment we are students who hope the mystery will not prove to be that much bigger than we are.  Bigger, yes, but not by too much.

To be continued.

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