Tuesday, January 23, 2018

No Time to Spare

The news of Ursula K. Le Guin's death at age 88 just came to me.   It was a few days ago that I had finished reading her book of essays, No Time to Spare, borrowed from the public library.  Each essay was taken from a blog she started a few years ago.  As always, since I was 21 years old and read A Wizard of Earthsea, she challenged me to think deeply and she brought me to tears and to joy.  What a lively free spirit, living on through her writing.

From a post I wrote in 2010 on the writing of Ursula K. Le Guin:

"We have to learn what we can but remain mindful that our knowledge does not close the circle, closing out the void, so that we forget that WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW remains boundless, without limit or bottom, and that what WE KNOW may have to share that quality of being known with what denies it.  What is seen with one eye has no depth ..."   

(Quote from Always Coming Home, by Ursula Le Guin, but the capitalization is my mother's.  She typed that out for me on a little piece of notepaper with a drawing of Rattlesnake Grass from California's North Coast and enclosed it in a letter she wrote to me during the 1980s.  I may have posted this quote before, but I feel like posting it again because I love it.  The photo was taken a few days ago from the trail just before the small bridge over Whatcom Creek at Derby Pond). 

And this:

"They walked softly here. So will the others, the 
ones I seek.

The only way I can think to find them, the only 
archaeology that might be practical, is as follows:
You take your child or grandchild in your arms, or
borrow a young baby, not a year old yet, and go 
down into the wild oats in the field below the barn.
Stand under the oak on the last slope of the hill,
facing the creek. Stand quietly. Perhaps the baby
will see something, or hear a voice, or speak to
somebody there, somebody from home."
                 Towards an Archaeology of the Future

Thank you, Ursula. 

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Yes. What a force in the world. She'll live on in all of us.