Nature Cure

I posted last summer about a review of Richard Mabey’s book, Nature Cure, and how much I was looking forward to reading it. I brought it with me to Minnesota, but the intervals between feedings/changings/nappings/fiddlings/walkings/playings/cleanings don’t allow for the kind of sustained and serious reading this book deserves.

I noticed a couple of weeks ago in The Solitary Walker’s so-often interesting blog a discussion of Mabey’s insistence that our objectivity, our particular human consciousness, isn’t an unnatural intrusion on nature, but is in itself natural—the human niche.

In my own reading of the same pages, I chuckled when I noticed the oh-so British sniff of disapproval with which Mabey calls Thoreau “typically histrionic” for making the same point—the essential Thoreauvian point, perhaps the essential Transcendentalist point—and was mildly surprised seeing him get solidly behind the “truly rooted” Beat, Gary Snyder, offering the quote TSW passes along in his post.

But I’m only 40 pages in. I know this is going to be a book about an interesting man’s recovery from depression, and that’s why I want to read it. But so far, it is a meditation on meditation by an exquisitely self-conscious writer who also happens to be a profound eccentric. That alone would be interesting enough to keep me reading…when I’m not stirring pureed carrot in with a commercial mixture of apples and apricots, and eventually wiping the residue off a resisting, much loved, little face.

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