The Outermost House -Henry Beston [Book Review]

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I am surprised that I was unaware of this book for so many years. This book is considered one of the quintessential pieces of nature writing. Though the natural world is a great passion of mine, and in retrospect- some of the books I own reference The Outermost House, I had never picked up a copy until a week ago. The subject is unassuming, and simple: A year spent on the great beach of Cape Cod.

The author indeed did not set out to write a book, but merely wanted to take a short two week vacation in his newly constructed beach house. This turned into a solitary adventure that would forever mark his literary career. Henry Beston has a way of wording a sentence that leaves it marked in the mind long after the book is closed.

His descriptions are not laboriously detailed, even sparse at times, but he artfully gives exactly he information needed to render the scene on the imagination. It was a pleasant book to read, and though written in the mid 1920s, the English was not archaic or dated. I finished it in a little over 2 days of sparse reading.

Only Beston could write an entire chapter just about the sound of the surf on the sand, and not come off as strained. I could almost hear it for myself. This is a true classic and ‘The Outermost House’ should be on the ‘read next’ list for anyone who loves nature and the feel of the sand between the toes.

Ripples In The High Water

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Sad soft ripples forget the hills upon which the snows fell. They run down the valleys into southerly forgetfulness.
When these drops exit the lonely land via the great Mississippi; the journey begins again.
-Ezra

A Clutter-Free Life

Lately I have become obsessed with the idea of a clutter free life; and consequently a clutter free mind.

There is an old saying:

“The more you own; the more what you own, owns you.”

I really have begun to feel that way. it seems that I am simply full of stuff. Little things that take up my time and consideration. Part of this is not so much what I have, but how I have it organized. If I compartmentalize my life I don’t have this problem, I can do what I need to do without the various pieces getting in the way of each-other.

For instance all of my photography equipment, lenses, cases, lighting etc. I don’t feel overwhelmed by any of this because it is all neatly in cases ready to be used whenever I wish. The same with my gadgeteering parts and tools, I have it all catalogued and it is simply there for me to access whenever I have the need to do so. My data archives are getting there, I have been steadily moving and consolidating ten years of writings, photos, and other data into one vast data library, this is some progress, and it is encouraging.
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