Favorite John Muir Quotes

Discuss your favorite wilderness related books. Share your favorite poetry, quotes and folktales. Here's your chance to showcase your creative side!
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BSquared
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Post by BSquared » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:59 pm

That's a wonderful quote (turns out I do have that one), but wasn't there something specifically about the Sistine Chapel? I seem to remember something about flooding it so people could get in boats and get closer to the ceiling...

Uh-oh! A quick web search suggests that the comment was probably from David Brower, and about Glen Canyon rather than Hetch-Hetchy. Rather a different era. (We don't ever seem to learn, do we?) Oh, well.

-B2

PS: Has anybody visited the John Muir exhibit at the University of Wisconsin? I understand it has some of his more remarkable inventions, in addition to the usual memorabilia.








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BSquared
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Another question

Post by BSquared » Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:08 am

Do I remember some quotation about how the Donner party should have had a "lovely time" or something to that effect? I checked the sources that I have, and all I could come up with was a brief description of Donner Lake with a passing reference to the "tragedy" of the Donner party in "The Mountains of California."
Last edited by BSquared on Sat Mar 25, 2006 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by caddis » Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:07 am

"We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us."


"Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go;..."


"Wherever we go in the mountains...we find more then we seek""
Image

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DJG
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Post by DJG » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:07 pm

Passed this on to my nephew last weekend in a card for his graduation from college (UCSB, my alam mater too) as a history & philosophy major:

"The power of imagination makes us infinite."

Great thread, thanks for sharing!

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Post by MamaBear » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:52 pm

Sorry for being a year late in responding...but I couldn't pass up this thread.

Rosabella, I also have that book. It's awesome. What a passionate writer!
I used to think I was alone in the world because I was obsessed with a place to the point that I felt it was actually part of me. Most of my friends thought I was a bit 'over the top' when I'd talk about the Sierra.

But then I found John Muir's "In His Own Words". When I read the two quotations below, I not only realized I wasn't alone, but that I was in good company :friends
My first view of the High Sierra, first view looking down into Yosemite, the death-song of Yosemite Creek, and its flight over the vast cliff, each one of these is of itself enough for a great life-long landscape fortune--a most memorable day of days--enjoyment enough to kill if that were possible.
and...
These beautiful days must enrich all my life. They do not exist as mere pictures--maps hung upon the walls of memory to brighten at times when touched by association or will, only to sink again like a landscape in the dark; but they saturate themselves into every part of the body and live always.
Mmmmmmm.........
..."Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted that I should ever come back"...
Robert Frost

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Post by rightstar76 » Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:29 pm

Couldn't help but resist responding to this thread. I've been thinking about Muir's famous lines:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you
as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

I do not think that it is true. Our problems I believe follow us wherever we go even into the Sierra. Ranger Randy Morgenson from The Last Season tried very hard to get away from his but was unable to. If only our cares were like autumn leaves, drying out, turning beautiful colors and falling off each year! I don't believe in this metaphor, as beautiful sounding as it may be. I think it has been romanticized to the hilt, which makes complete sense as Muir was a transcendentalist which is a romantic belief. Stephen Crane who wrote Red Badge of Courage had a naturalistic belief and would have frowned upon Muir's quotes. He would have probably relished the harsh realism of Blehm's The Last Season over Muir's romantic My First Summer in the Sierra.

Still, these lines are nice to read as Muir was an amazing writer. I know I could not have come up with these and I doubt if most people today could.

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Post by giantbrookie » Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:46 pm

rightstar76 wrote:Couldn't help but resist responding to this thread. I've been thinking about Muir's famous lines:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you
as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

I do not think that it is true. Our problems I believe follow us wherever we go even into the Sierra. Ranger Randy Morgenson from The Last Season tried very hard to get away from his but was unable to. If only our cares were like autumn leaves, drying out, turning beautiful colors and falling off each year! I don't believe in this metaphor, as beautiful sounding as it may be. I think it has been romanticized to the hilt, which makes complete sense as Muir was a transcendentalist which is a romantic belief. Stephen Crane who wrote Red Badge of Courage had a naturalistic belief and would have frowned upon Muir's quotes. He would have probably relished the harsh realism of Blehm's The Last Season over Muir's romantic My First Summer in the Sierra.

Still, these lines are nice to read as Muir was an amazing writer. I know I could not have come up with these and I doubt if most people today could.
I guess the truthfulness of statement depends on the person and their personal situation. I am much more the realist than the romanticist (I know the difference, too, as my brother is a professional musician), but I can say Muir's lines have tended to ring true for me. I really wall off what's going on in my out-of-mountain world when I am up there. The High Sierra is indeed a refuge for me, as it is, I believe, for so many others. Now this is not to say that the cares that drop off like autumn leaves in the High Sierra don't come back when I return--oh yeah they do--but while I'm up there... Morgenson was much different than most of us who visit the Sierra, because in his case the mountains were a big part of his problems.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Post by rightstar76 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:09 pm

Fascinating observation Giant Brookie! The mountains were definitely part of Morgenson's problems. Guess he could have used less time there. The opposite of the rest of us who could use more time there.

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Re: Favorite John Muir Quotes

Post by Tom_H » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:39 pm

In 1977, I discovered that my college library had a full collection, first printing, of Muir's complete works in 10 volumes. It was a joy to read them all. My favorite selection:

"Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day ; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever." - "My First Summer in the Sierra", John Muir (1911), P82. Journal entry for June 23, 1869.

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Re: Favorite John Muir Quotes

Post by oldhikerQ » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:21 am

Just saw this Muir quote this morning and wanted to share.
"Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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