I’m glad he gave up the professional golf idea

A little reading round-up this Tuesday morning. The second of three posts.

Moving on, my friend Rainier sent me an interview from Grist with everyone’s favorite fly fisher/philosopher/theologian/author David James Duncan. Exhibiting his trademark humor, I especially enjoyed his response about how he ended up doing what he does:

As an 18-year-old hippie, I got strangely good at golf and thought about trying to be the first person to win the Masters wearing nothing but overalls, with a ponytail to my butt. I imagined I’d point out, as I donned the green jacket, that golf was invented in cow pastures by destitute Scots, and that a return to low-income golf would revolutionize the game. I would then begin to lead that revolution. It could’ve been a great life, that hippie golfing life! The makers of polyester would have wanted to assassinate me!

And then there is his description of feeling harmony with nature that would be familiar if the feeling weren’t so ephemeral and personal:

I like those moments — wherever they happen to occur — when I melt into the Eternal Now. Sometimes it happens in pristine wilds, but sometimes it happens in airports or city streets. And who cares which? Yeats said, “There is another world, but it is in this one.” My experience exactly. There is horror in this world, cause for grief without end. But when we pay keen attention and live with compassion, we sometimes fall into a beautiful place inside the apparent place. You know when you’ve entered, because you suddenly feel loved — intimately, totally, unconditionally — though there is no one and nothing there to show it. That’s it. That’s my favorite place.

Perhaps most importantly, Duncan’s interview is part of Grist’s “Interactivist” series, where they post an initial interview (this one) and then solicit readers’ questions for the interviewee. That’s right, now’s your chance to ask Duncan whatever you’re burning to know about him, his writing, his advice on conservation causes, whatever. Me, I’m debating between asking him what the chances are that I could come live at his art-and-writing-studio-equipped farm on a Montana trout stream, or asking him how — if he’s a professional lecturer, as he says he is — we can get him to visit Minnesota.

One thought on “I’m glad he gave up the professional golf idea

  1. MN Justin

    I love this guy so much. Here is one of the Grist questions:

    Q: What’s been the worst moment of your professional life to date?

    A: It’s a tie between two moments: the day I lost 12 short stories to the implosion of a computer and the day the Supreme Court appointed King George the Bush.

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