Most of my friends think it appropriate that I share my birthday with Earth Day. That's because they see me as someone with her feet firmly planted on the ground. And, of course, since this entire conservative town seems to know me as one of the token (that means I'm not afraid to speak up) environmentalists, that contributes to the appropriateness of sharing the day. I also have a good friend whose son has known me for nigh unto 30yrs., who, haven't not seen me for awhile, asked his mother if I was still an "earth mother." No, I don't walk around in long flowered skirts with graying child-flower hair, but I guess having brought him donuts on a regular basis when his mom and I were in graduate school together, somehow made me an earth mother. But the best part about sharing my birthday is that it imparts in me a sense of peacefulness that comes, I think, from my belief that the environment, or Mother Nature, if you will, always carries with it the cycle of life which endures in time. Of course the environment changes, and can change even more because of the human carbon footprint (I think that's a nice euphemism for obsession with economics), but I'm not sure that the result of human activity will destroy the earth; rather, it will destroy human life on earth. That's just a thought, and one which I'll put away for now because I rather enjoy my birthday and I don't allow negative karma to intrude on my day.
No blog for several days because we were at a book sale in Seattle. I think we should have stayed another day because even though the books in our area of specialization were not great, I did feel that I was honing in on the good ones and I could have filled my coffers even more with an extra day. Alas, our plans did not allow the extra day so we flew home yesterday, much to the happiness of our cats and kits.
I did come across a decent first edition of Gregory Bateson's Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. I think that Bateson was probably one of the most brilliant thinkers of this past century, and just hasn't been "found" yet by a greater public audience. Although known in some circles as the man who wooed Margaret Mead while she was in the field in with her husband, Reo Fortune, with the result of Mead leaving Fortune and marrying Bateson, his writings and his intellect are the true trademarks of a thoughtful, innovative and far-sighted career. I just love being able to sell his books.
I also found some other noteworthy firsts: Braudel's two volume set of The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II; Levi-Strauss' The Origin of Table Manners; Fawn Brodie's authorized biography of Tolkien (that's for my son); Lewis' The Ship Would Not Travel Due West (couldn't resist because of my years as a sailor); a Fine copy of Cornelisen's Women of the Shadows; and several others. And I bought up several copies of Kenneth Read's The High Valley, a classic as well as a beautifully well-written ethnography of New Guinea. All in all, a good book buying spree.
I finished off my birthday celebration with a delicious dinner: baby lettuce salad with feta cheese, avocado and a sherry vinaigrette; Scottish Highland chuck roast braised in a provencal sauce and served over roasted garlic mashed potatoes; and to accompany, a delicious Argentinian merlot from the Mendoza region. No dessert, however, because while in Seattle I ate way too much of the most ethereal lemon tart from 60th Street Desserts and Delicatessen.
It was so good, that I'm even making lemon/almond tartlets for Monday lunch tomorrow.
Happy Birthday Earth Day!