After graduation, after a divorce, after an election
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Gary Snyder is a poet, lecturer, and environmental activist. He served as the inspiration for the main character in Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel The Dharma Bums.
The pathless world of wild nature is a surpassing school and those who have lived through her can be tough and funny teachers.
To talk, as some do, about “making a world without war” when we’d be lucky to have a world without nuclear weapons, is talking hearsay and utopian theory. We can’t just talk peace, we have to be peace, or it’s another kind of bravado. I’d like a world without war; but we’d all settle for a world without wars that kill everything. — Gary Snyder
All of us will come back again to hoe in the ground, or gather wild potato bulbs with digging sticks, or hand-adze a beam. . . . We’ve been living a dream that we’re going to get away from it. . . . That work is always going to be there. It might be stapling papers, it might be typing in the office. . . . The real work is what we really do. And what our lives are.
Once in the Jurassic, about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a great Discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings — even grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, were assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.