Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Star Thrower. Loren Eiseley. Significant Sentences 04.

Significant sentences from Loren Eiseley's The Star Thrower, a collection of Eiseley's essays on nature.

Title of Essay: "The Innocent Fox."

"Some men are daylight readers, who peruse the ambiguous wording of clouds or the individual letter shapes of wandering birds." p. 53.

"As adults we are preoccupied with living. As a consequence, we see little." p. 54.

"I was a man trapped in the despair once alluded to as the utterly hopeless fear confined to moderns--that no miracles can ever happen." p. 55.

"The only thing that characterizes a miracle, to my mind, is its sudden appearance and disappearance within the natural order, although strangely, this loose definition would include each individual person." p. 57.

"Though I was his son he knew me only as one lamp is briefly lit from another in the windy night." p. 61.

"...the wide-eyed, innocent fox inviting me to play, with the innate courtesy of its two forepaws placed appealingly together, along with a mock shake of the head." p. 64.

"It was not a time for human dignity." p. 64.

"...but as Thoreau once remarked of some peculiar errand of his own, there is no use reporting it to the Royal Society." p. 65.

Reflection: If we are not looking for them, miracles occur in nature. This essay reports on the almost human contact between a naive fox and the author who communicate to each other the spirit of play and the joy in living. But there is no use in writing about that miracle to organizations like the National Science Foundation, which are interested only in analyzing nature to control it. Eiseley celebrates the beauty and complex existence of nature as it is. The difference is between a scientist and a naturalist, between the student who dissects a frog and a student who enjoys the magic of their summer chorus.

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