PATRICK STEPHENSON

Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

How to Live, by Jim Harrison

leave a comment »

Regarding proper living, here are novelist/poet Jim Harrison’s “Five Rules for Zestful Living,” as extracted from his work and transposed by NYT’s Will Blythe:

1. Eat well, of course, avoiding the ninny diets and mincing cuisines that demonize appetite and make unthinkable a tasty snack of hog jowls. We’re all going to die. Might as well enjoy a little fat along the way.

(In a 1971 “false memoir” called “Wolf,” written while Harrison was convalescing from a fall off a cliff, he suggested curing heartbreak by broiling a two- to three-pound porterhouse, eating it with your hands, followed by a hot bath in which you consume the best bourbon you can buy until the bottle is empty. Then sleep for a day. Ladies and gentlemen, this works.)

2. Pursue love and sex, no matter discrepancies of desire and age. Romance is worth the humbling. Doing it outdoors on stumps, in clearings and even swarmed by mosquitoes is particularly recommended.

3. Welcome animals, especially bears, ravens and wolves, into your waking and dream life. An acceptance of our common creaturedom is essential not just to the health of the planet but to our ordinary happiness. We are mere participants in natural cycles, not the kings of them.

4. Rather than lighting out for territory, we ought to try living in it.

5. And finally, love the detour. Take the longest route between two points, since the journey is the thing, a notion to which, contaminated by the Zen-fascist slogans of advertising (“just do it!”), we all pay lip service but few of us indulge.

I’m all for hedonism, but eating hog jowls sounds kinda gross.

Advertisements

Written by patiomensch

February 20, 2007 at 11:35 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: