2022-01-01 09:00

Jim Dodge, from the Foreword, The Gary Snyder Reader:

The last question came from a young man who wanted to know what Gary meant by the paradoxical statement that ends the seminal Four Changes: “Knowing that nothing need be done is the place from which we begin to move.”

Gary replied — and here I’m working from memory — that Nature bats last, is eminently capable of caring for herself against human foolishness, and no doubt will remain long after our demise. Nature doesn’t need us to save her.

I could feel the audience sag, then bristle. Someone called out, “Then why work to stop the destruction?”

Gary grinned hugely, leaned slightly forward, and replied without a quiver of hesitation, “Because it is a matter of character.” Then, with an absolutely wild glitter of delight in his eyes, added, “And it’s a matter of style.”


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