Was just reading an article by Rebecca Solnit called "Finding Time" in the latest Orion magazine. Saw it online on aldaily.com, a very good listing of essay, review and opinions.
I have started to look forward to finding Ms. Solnit's pieces in the odd places that my brain and eyes wander to, coming across them almost like free range chicken eggs in a morning backyard hunt.
I see title, first lines and then, eyes travel for author-
another one found.
This started with her quirky but delightful book on walking a few years ago, and then recently I was in San Francisco and picked up a book titled "Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes For Politics", noticed the same author's name and when I went to the counter to purchase it, the City Lights bookseller told me "Rebecca is spending a lot of time in New Orleans right now" as he read my driver's license state of origin. Hmmm, I thought sourly, even her? thinking she can-what?
Still, I liked the premise of the book and bought it.
As I read her essays while waiting in the hotel or at the North Beach coffehouse in the evening, I realized that instead of another outside voice flying in on Friday til Tuesday morning to tch silently over the state of affairs in my poor city and to look for consultant's fees, this voice could probably add something. If she could share her knowledge and critical eye on the degradation of place and the disappearance of long-held traditions that we worry and fight for daily here, she is welcome on my street and at my farmers market.
So, when I arrived home from San Francisco, I tried to tell 2 friends that I thought would get it about the book, but they just kept talking about other essays that they had each recently read (that I HAD to read right away); when they saw the book, they both said, "hey, that's her!"
The article in the Orion Magazine talks about her choices for the new 4 Horsemen: Efficiency, Convenience, Profit and Security. Her premise is one that my neighbors and others agree with and are glad to see in print. The need to slow down and connect in more ways is mandatory for the future of community; it is only on a meandering walk through the nearby landmarks of your own landscape that you will find the place you deserve to call home.
And when you get back from that walk, look for those eggs.