The author's love of his home in the Ozarks gives him the ability to engage in the minute observations that bring about universal insight. His memoir of a day-long spiritual journey through the Ozark forest brings a renewed sense of wonder for the natural environment.
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Ken Carey's book packs half a lifetime of good living--years of raising children and learning the ways of the Arkansas backwoods--into a mere 160 pages. There, on his 80-acre patch of ground, Carey studies the ways of the mountain people, campaigns against the forestry industry's clear-cutting practices, raises vegetables, and comes to grips with the realities of the place--such as venomous snakes outnumbering people by a wide margin up in the mountains. This fact prompts Carey to examine his leanings toward Buddhism: the kill-nothing philosophy is sublime. But in the Ozarks anyone exhibiting so pacific a temperament during summer months would soon be compost. Carey seems to have found a real home in this neglected corner of America, and he's given us a terrific book.From Kirkus Reviews:
Thoreau-voiced memoir of a day off spent recharging the author's batteries by his lonesome in the Ozark woods. With his wife Sherry and three teenagers, Carey (Return of the Bird Tribes--not reviewed) lives about 12 miles from the nearest Missouri town, which itself has upward of only 600 people. For the first seven years he lived on his Ozark hilltop, he went without radio, television, newspaper, plumbing or electricity, and, with his wife, spent 110% of each day raising and canning vegetables for their year-round food supply. Their kids were utterly amazed when after seven years a huge secondhand gas-burning refrigerator arrived and helped cut down on chores. Meanwhile, the author spends this yearly day off at a mossy limestone hollow called Flat Rock and tells us much about his yarrow tea, the wildly fluctuating weather, the fierce joy amid the jagged forks of a thunderstorm, and climbing a tree in the bone-chilling rain, and the weather within, a kind of spiritual animism that sees life as a cross- species experience to be shared by those who can shed their material form--a thought not distant from Emerson's transcendental Oversoul: ``We come here, all of us, seeking a balance between energy and form, spirit and matter, between this sunlight and this clay... [A] part of me remembers these hills when they were dressed in virgin pine.'' Carey describes a mating romance among a trio of five-inch lizards as a battle of the dinosaurs not unlike the battle of the ants in Walden, and a nest of poisonous copperheads is allowed to propagate indoors under the refrigerator's gas flame. Most delightful is Carey's whistling a ditty from Handel to a pond of singing frogs, then a little Led Zepplin and a few Grateful Dead riffs: ``The frogs just eat it up.'' A model of moss-velvet nature writing, quite possibly a classic. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Harper San Francisco, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0062502751
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