Archived Story

The simple lessons of a quiet highway

Published 1:01pm Saturday, May 19, 2012

“Writing is something you do quietly, regularly, and in doing it, you face your life; everything comes up to fight, resist, deny, cajole you.” — Natalie Goldberg


I’ve finally completed Natalie’s “Long Quiet Hi-way” and its taken me a while to bring it to an end.

I read in the Star Tribune that the Dalai Lama was in London last Monday to receive the $1.7 million Templeton Prize at a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral. “The award war is for encouraging scientific research and harmony among the world’s religions.”

Then an ambulance went by and Fred and Mello howled longer than usual.

Howling has been something recent in their window watching. Sitting on the couch with them is a little hard on the ears however there is something worthy in it for them.

Back to Natalie’s book. In it she talks about life, “waking up in America,” perhaps something I mentioned last week.

In it she tells when she was visiting her parents. She and her father sat up one night to watch a movie and the end came earlier than they expected. Natalie’s father turned to her and said: “That’s just what it’s like. You’re in your life and suddenly it goes blank. They flash ‘The End’ across your face.”

Natalie had physically experienced what the Tibetans talked about, the transformation from to neurosis to wisdom. She sat in the train and watched her letting go, her opening into an old painful feeling and she experienced it and in a new way felt another dimension of its largeness.

Now I have moved to focus on “Bob Dylan in America” presented by Sean Wilentz. Finally a breath of fresh words founded in hard-core, intelligent research according to Al Kooper while Mello and Fred sleep and bark.

Mello and Fred went with Jeanne for the weekend so they could do some running in the woods behind the Poppe farm. I think they also wore some burdocks coming out of the woods. Now they are both resting on the couch, Fred behind me and Mello beside me.


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