28 September 2010

chaucer for the faithful & some other thoughts

For out of olde feldes, as men seith,
Cometh al this newe corn fro yeer to yere;
And out of olde bookes, in good feith,
Cometh al this newe science that men lere.
But now to purpos as of this matere--
To rede forth it gan me so delyte,
That al the day me thoughte but a lyte.

Please allow me to offer the above stanza from Parliament of Fowls as a means of apology for the long pause in blogging activity. By no means does this represent a dearth of intellectual stimuli nor a diminished interest in sharing my thoughts, whims, and musings with you, my dearly devoted readers (assuming of course that this already minute body of readers is still interested). Arguably out of context, but nonetheless pertinent, Chaucer explains that a devotion to and enthusiasm for learning and reading can cause hours, even an entire day to pass with surprising speed (To rede forth it gan me so delyte,/That al the day me thoughte but a lyte.). Just as the narrator finds himself in the zone (so to speak) and amazed by the quick passage of the day immersed in Cicero's Somnium Scipionis (and therefore we assume also in Macrobius's Commentary on the Scipio's Dream [for the author and his commentary are singlehandedly responsible for the preservation Cicero's De re publica), I too have been in the intellectual zone, devoted to a variety of academic pursuits and am shocked to find myself in the final week of September 2010. Rest assured that this entry signifies a new stage in the digital publication of my wandering thoughts.

Before I digress further, I want to draw your attention to the initial inspiration for this rhizomatic posting. While perusing the limitless depths of the Internet (why is it that we speak of the Internet as an infinite space, but seem to always hover around a handful of sites [or it this one of my unique behaviors]?), I found myself (not so much by chance) at patagonia.com. Quickly however, I moved from the inviting homepage and onto The Cleanest Line, a "Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia." Ah, the power of words. All it took was a title: The 2010 Kids' Catalog Backstory: More About Hiking Lessons. Well worth the venture via hyperlink, I immediately thought about distributing this encouraging piece to others. Writing. Education. And outdoor adventuring? What a great combination! I encourage you to take a quick (really, it is short, invigorating, and includes some good photos) read and follow some of the links to Outdoor Education @ SBMS and Hiking Lessons by Lexi Aquillino (a middle school student whose aforementioned piece now appears as the flagship piece in the kids's Fall 2010 Patagonia catalog). It's really cool stuff; well worth a few moment of diversion from whatever you are doing (after reading this of course).

Another stimulating and connected discovery can be found here, here, and/or here. I've not yet read the book nor watched the documentary, but am admittedly excited to read/watch.

More good things to come soon (and on a more regularly recurring basis).