The early nineties (which was so last century) found me working in a large, independent bookstore. It was my ideal job. I had no desk, no deadlines, and no day planner.
I showed up. I waited on customers - face-to-face or on the phone. I worked the checkout counter. I shelved books. At the end of my day, I grabbed my purse and walked out the door.
What wasn't there to like?
I was responsible for the upkeep of four different sections in the store:
Romance - this was the least interesting to me but was a very popular section. All those sagas by Danielle Steel and LaVyrle Spencer.
Animals - books on different dog and cat breeds, dog training, pet birds, reptiles.
Gardening - how to design gardens and fill them with flowers, trees, and shrubs.
Nature and Science - everything from the musings of Thoreau to the lectures of physicist Richard Feynman.
Which brings me in a roundabout way to Loren Eiseley whose writings were the subject in today's entry in Darwin's Orchestra by Michael Sims, an almanac of short essays on 'Nature and History in the Arts' which I am enjoying reading each morning.
I remember Mr. Eisley's name from my Nature and Science section although I never did read any of his writings. He has many: fifteen books, two memoirs, and three books of poetry.
Mr. Eiseley (1907-1977) was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska and received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania where he taught for three decades. He wrote essays about the earth and the cosmos. He was a naturalist and a philosopher and a poet. A lovely combination.
So now my interest is piqued. I enjoy reading about the natural world from a literary point of view. I am thinking here of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire. Perhaps, now, I can add Mr. Eiseley to my list. It looks as if The Immense Journey (1957) or The Unexpected Universe (1969) might be a good starting point.
What say you? Are you familiar with Loren Eiseley and his thoughts on earth and sky?