Skip to main content

On Rooting Oneself

During my years in graduate school and afterward, friends who knew I aspired to become a writer had advised me to seek out a big city on one of the coasts--New York, say, or San Francisco, Chicago or New Orleans, Seattle or Miami--some place that readers had heard about, some place where influential critics might tout my books, where I was likely to meet filmmakers at cocktail parties, where a cab ride could deliver me to television studios.  And they also urged me to pull up stakes and move whenever I saw a chance for more prestige or more publicity.
 My friends were probably right, if my ruling ambition were to make a name for myself.  But my chief ambition, I discovered during our early years in Bloomington, was not to make a good career, but a good life.  And such a life, as I came to understand it, meant being a husband and father first, and an employee second; it meant belonging to a place rather than to a profession; it meant being a citizen as well as an artist.          --Scott Russell Sanders, "Hometown"
                                                                              

Comments

Gin A. Ando said…
Scot (or is it Scott? It's spelled in two ways on the page...) I just found your blog randomly going through some of the pages.

But I am going through the same thing. I'm graduating college next year. The thing is, I don't have a wife or kids. So, I suppose I'd like to ask then, if you were in my shoes, is it worth going somewhere to get those opportunities you talk about? Or would you say finding a fulfilling life takes precedence?

Thanks.

Gin
Scot said…
Gin,
Thanks for reading (it's Scot, by the way--I'm not sure where you're seeing it with two Ts). There isn't a clear and easy answer here. I'd take fulfillment over glory any day. Deep roots sustain plants and people during real and metaphorical droughts. There is some merit to adventuring before one makes roots, but that can easily lead to the modern, drifting lifestyle if indulged too long.
I think you're getting the extra T from the Scott I quoted. I didn't write this piece, though I can say I've met him. Success and blessings to your journey, Gin.

Popular posts from this blog

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

Worth Quoting

"...[K]eep in mind that a human being is not made for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion." --Anthony Esolen,  Foreword to Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott.


Another Publishing Triumph (with a new journal!)

I've got a piece on benthic macroinvertebrates in this new fantastic journal: Jesus The Imagination. It's filled with essays, artwork, and poetry. I haven't finished reading it, but I'm impressed so far.

Check it out--it's available on Amazon.