Thursday, September 10, 2009

Notes from Turtle Creek (2). Ted Browning.

The Kennett Paper. Chadds Ford, PA: Brandywine Conservancy. 1991.

Why read it? I’m sure you have never heard of Ted Browning. He wrote essays on nature, specifically in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He urges that open space be distinguished for conservation of natural processes or modified for parks, playgrounds, green space. He died young. The editor of the paper in which Ted published his essays, said plaintively: “I wish he were here to put it in perspective for us. I wish he could…explain to us why the katydids are louder than usual, the shad bush blossoms more brazen, the fall colors more muted, the dogwoods duller.” p. xiii.

Sample Ideas and Quotes:

“Yesterday I went out looking for spring.” p. 24.

“…a beauty that results when living organisms evolve into near-perfect harmony with the soil, the rocks, the water, the other creatures that make their world—with their environment.” p. 26.

“The doldrums of late winter: brown-toned landscapes match inner moods.” p. 34.

“There is no blue like bluebird blue.” p. 36.

“For me writing is an intensely physical and tactile act—kind of a deranged activity in which thinking, dreaming, writing, erasing, wadding are all bound up together.” p. 37.

“It’s easy to switch gears, to shift from the left brain of overdue bills and payroll deductions to the right brain, the old attic trunk-of-the-mind where memories, intuitions, connections and all sorts of tattered bric-a-brac are stored away.” p. 38.

“One thing I found out early in the game was that there was no way I could simply walk up to that room after breakfast, think of something to write about and then just spit it out in four or five hours…. …had to settle on an idea a week or so in advance and let it stew for a while.” p. 38.

“Other times, no matter what I do, no matter how well I think I’ve set things up or how good I think the idea is, it’s no go.” p. 38.

“It’s a good time to look at trees.” p. 40.

“When William Penn parceled out to Quakers and the persecuted the 28 million acres granted to him by King Charles II, he required them to leave one acre of trees for every five cut.” p. 40.

To be continued.

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