Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

Overview

In an effort to make sense of the deaths in quick succession of several loved ones, Kathleen Dean Moore turned to the comfort of the wild, making a series of solitary excursions into ancient forests, wild rivers, remote deserts, and windswept islands to learn what the environment could teach her in her time of pain. This book is the record of her experiences. It’s a stunning collection of carefully observed accounts of her life—tracking otters on the beach, cooking breakfast in the desert, canoeing in a snow ...
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Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

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Overview

In an effort to make sense of the deaths in quick succession of several loved ones, Kathleen Dean Moore turned to the comfort of the wild, making a series of solitary excursions into ancient forests, wild rivers, remote deserts, and windswept islands to learn what the environment could teach her in her time of pain. This book is the record of her experiences. It’s a stunning collection of carefully observed accounts of her life—tracking otters on the beach, cooking breakfast in the desert, canoeing in a snow squall, wading among migrating salmon in the dark—but it is also a profound meditation on the healing power of nature.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This marvelous and sense-luscious collection of essays demonstrates Moore's distinctive style which is rich in descriptive passages and deep musings.”—Spirituality & Practice

“Nature writing at its most lyrical.”—Shambhala Sun

“Moore recounts with descriptive poignancy how moonlight rides the waves toward shore; how a rubber boa relaxes and comes alive in the warmth of the human hand; how it can feel to sit in the sun, savoring the air with a sense that is not quite smell, not quite taste, but something in between. [Wild Comfort] is an invitation to us to experience our own belonging.”—Yes! magazine

“Introspectives looking for nature writing in the vein of Rachel Carson or Annie Dillard will appreciate Wild Comfort, not only for its sensual imagery, but also for its informative and encouraging tone. Moore’s impeccable attention to detail and vivid descriptions invoking all five senses are constant.”—ForeWord Reviews

“With attention to the smallest details of the natural world, this very personal book unites our emotional world with the world that surrounds us.”—Sierra Club’s blog The Green Life

"This slender collection of essays moves as powerfully and inevitably as a tide. Wild Comfort may be rooted in grief, in loss, in darkness, but Moore 's words carry us inexorably toward light and hope."— Story Circle Book Reviews

Wild Comfort is a richly poetic book, tipsy with life, and Moore a wonderful guide to the wilderness and our own wildness. It’s a book brimming with wonder, sorrow, happiness, and the intricate designs of nature that can surprise and sustain us all.”—Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper’s Wife

“Kathleen Dean Moore is a writer whose senses, heart, generosity, and intellect open in every direction. This book, filled with knowledge of the natural and human worlds, is a superb naturalist’s handbook. It is also a praise book: an illuminated manuscript whose life overspills its own borders. In its grounded wisdoms, humility, curiosity, and in the kaleidoscope beauty of its descriptions, Wild Comfort reminds how to see, how to sing; how to welcome, with equal gravity and grace, whatever asks entrance into our lives. It is destined to become a classic.”—Jane Hirshfield

“What nature gives, it takes away. Kathleen Dean Moore feels the ache of this truth in her bones. And yet in spite of grieving over the death of friends, the extinction of species, and the tattering of Earth's web, she finds comfort in natural and human creations, in symphonies and snakes, in science and stars, in the beauty constantly upwelling from the mystery we call life. This book itself is such a consoling creation, a cause for gratitude and joy.”—Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Private History of Awe

“Moore’s descriptions are powerfully visceral. Readers will find that the world seems larger, wilder, and yet safer than they had thought—more beautiful and more like home.”—Book Page

“This collection of essays, reveries, and meditations interweaves keen observations of the natural world with descriptions of wilderness travel, conversations, stories, and philosophical musings.  It is easy to imagine Moore lying next to Plato, intensely focused and observant, pointing out the natural world’s soothing and transformative miracles.  She excels at it.”—The Oregonian

“ Moore turns over rocks and describes what she finds—even if, like a seething mass of snakes, it lacks traditional beauty.  This makes her experiences with nature extremely readable.”—The Southwest Portland Post

"Good writers, like good friends, are equal parts familiarity and surprise, giving us, upon each encounter, both the pleasure of routine and the promise of something new. Such a writer is Kathleen Dean Moore.  Moore has a nice way of shaking us awake by turning convention on its ear.”—The Advocate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590307717
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 701,176
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Dean Moore lives in Oregon, at the confluence of two rivers, and, during the summer months, she resides in a little cabin at the edge of a southeast Alaskan inlet. As an essayist, activist, and professor, she brings together natural history, philosophical ideas, and creative expression in a search for loving ways to live on the earth. She has published three books of personal essays about living in the lively places where water meets land: Riverwalking, Holdfast, and The Pine Island Paradox. Her essays can be found in many journals, including Audubon, Discover, Orion, and the New York Times Magazine. Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State, where she teaches courses on environmental thought and ethics. She is also the cofounder and director of Oregon State’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Gladness

The Solace of Snakes 3

Burning Garbage on an Incoming Tide 11

The Happy Basket 21

Suddenly, There Was with the Angel 31

Solace

My Old Friend, Sorrow 39

Dog Salmon Moon 43

Crossing the River 49

Overnight Fog in the Valley 57

Winter Prayer 61

Never Alone or Weary 67

Winter Geese in a Green Field 71

A Joke My Father Liked to Tell 77

The Recipe for Migas 83

Turning Stones 89

Things with Feathers 97

Morning in Romero Canyon 101

The Patience of Herons 105

The Water and the Wave 111

Stillwater Bay, Columbia River 119

To Mend a Broken Pot 121

Repeat the Sounding Joy 131

The Possum in the Plum Tree 141

The Time for the Singing of Birds 149

If I Hadn't Stopped to Watch the River 155

Courage

Look, the Rain Has Stopped 163

Twenty Things Morning Reveals 169

How Can I Keep from Singing? 173

Let It All Go (Seven Feathers) 181

Acknowledgments 188

Notes 189

Credits 194

About the Author 195

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