The Journey Begins…

“Grandma, when you die, will they bury you?”

“Yes.”

“Very deep.”

“Yes.”

“Then I’ll just dig you up again!”  —–Kornei Chukovskij From Two To Five

The journey, which would eventually lead to The Magicians Of Form, started in childhood.  For the book represents a synthesis of the many conversations I had with my Dad and Grandma  Lillian about forms that I encountered throughout my life.  In retrospect, I believe there was an unseen path that was guiding me to complete that book.  Little did I know it, but these apparently innocuous discussions held the seeds of a definite future purpose.

To understand the determination and courage needed to finish the volume, I have to look back to a now distant world:  a world before abstract reasoning had taken firm hold, and banished me from an all-inclusive world.  A world in which sensations, colors, sounds, and forms enticed with a vividness, excitement, and spontaneous directness that become dulled in adulthood.

To go to that special place, I need to summon memory as my guide.  Fragments of thoughts and images fly into my mind:  pine cones scattered along a path, a night sky covered with sparkling stars, the rough red of jasper, sand painting, sticker albums, wooden puzzles of a bus, and Old King Cole, a record player on the ground spinning music, farm lotto, water-colored flowers, The Golden Book of Children’s Verse, and, one verse in particular:  “When I grow up, I will carry a stick, and be very dignified.  I will have a watch that will really tick.  I will have a tall house that is built of brick.  And no one will guess that it’s just a trick, and I’m really myself inside.”, The Big Ball Of StringThe Big Jump And Other Stories, and Gillespie And The Guards( in which a child outwits adults in power), The Five Chinese Brothers(in which every brother has a special skill to keep him from harm), arithmetic problems with shiny colored dots, glasses of lemonade, scoops of chocolate ice cream, dragging a watering can to create my own river in the sandy beach,  Grandma’s Archie the Chipmunk bednight stories, making a miniature golf course out of my parents’ lawn, climbing walnut trees, listening to Walt Disney’s The Grasshopper and the Ants, dancing to Tchaikovsky’s Overture Miniature from the Nutcracker Suite and watching the falls of Lone Pine Creek…

“How high is high?”

Grandma said I asked this question when I was four-years-old.  It was the start of many questions I had about the surrounding world.  My special path was unraveling before me.  The hour glass of time was running.  The journey begins…

A Path And Some Philosophy

Yesterday, I walked down a path in Rogue Elk Park adjoining the Rogue River.  Glad to leave the campground, I looked at the natural world surrounding me.  Yes, maybe fifty plus years ago I was walking down a path, but at that time it was with my Grandma Lillian.  And we weren’t walking in Rogue Elk Park, but in Casey State Park.  I remember her pointing out to me the different sizes and shapes of pine cones and the pine needles scattered along the path.  We picked up several objects of interest, and these became the basis for our hobby shows that we put on for several years at Eastin’s Rogue Haven.

My grandparents had begun coming to Southern Oregon for their summer vacations in 1929, and continued visiting regularly with the exception of the war years.  They stayed originally at Casey’s Auto Camp with no electricity.  And now, I represent another generation that visits Southern Oregon.  All these thoughts from a path along the Rogue River on a sunny afternoon on August 4.