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Steinbeck Alone 9/5

September 27, 2010

A little something more to ponder from Mr. Steinbeck. It strikes me as pertinent because, well, things get pretty damn quiet out here…

“A number of years ago I had some experience with being alone. For two succeeding years I was alone each winter for eight months at a stretch in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Lake Tahoe. I was a caretaker on a summer estate during the winter months when it was snowed in. And I made some observations then. As the time went on I found that my reactions thickened. Ordinarily I am a whistler. I stopped whistling. I stopped conversing with my dogs, and I believe that subtleties of feeling began to disappear until finally I was on a pleasure-pain basis. Then it occurred to me that the delicate shades of feeling, of reaction, are the result of communication, and without such communication they tend to disappear. A man with nothing to say has no words. Can its reverse be true—a man who has no one to say anything to has no words as he has no need for words? Now and then there appear accounts of babies raised by animals—wolves and such. It is usually reported that the youngster crawls on all fours, makes those sounds learned from his foster parents, and perhaps even thinks like a wolf. Only through imitations do we develop toward originality.”

Travels with Charley, pg 106

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kimberly Oxie permalink
    September 27, 2010 2:15 pm

    I loved this passage in particular….AND your reflections on Steinbeck,
    I relate to a similar one….I will find the author….something like: “In the Quiet…we begin to hear ourselves.”

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