25 August 2009
Being a Librarian I forever have my nose in a book. Well not quite, but they seem to be a big part of my life. Being a Sailor I seem to read lots of sailing books. At the moment I am reading "Land from the Masthead" by Philip Houghton. It is an account of a circumnavigation of New Zealand in the wake of Captain Cook.
A passage from the book has caught my fancy. Phil mentions another book by Herbert Guthrie-Smith called "Mutton birds and other birds"published in 1914. Guthrie-Smith writes.
" "Back to the Wilds" is what will bring to each who makes the trial the happiness that brings no later regrets, from which all troubles will be forgotten, and which, unlike any other portion of out lives, will leave the memory only of its pleasures behind. Assuredly in this 20th century we are attempting an over-civilisation, and Men have almost come to believe that to walk all day in street or to sit at ledger and desk is the natural lot. He who so thinks has lived but half his life- he has failed to enjoy the savage latent in himself. It is hearing and sight - those most ancient senses in the frame of man, that give in their exercise the fullest joy, and to listen and watch are more than to think."
Obviously a man before his time, these sentiments are still true for the 21st century, in fact even more so. Eustace Conway (Last American Man) would probably agree whole heartedly with that sentiment. (if you haven't heard about Eustace Conway... Google him)
Anyway back to my reading.............