Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Industrial & Holy

This post from Jasminembla reminded me of a passage I read a few weeks back in the David James Duncan book River Teeth. Duncan and a fishing buddy, still teenagers, had packed up their fly gear to fish for salmon in front of the Crown Zellerbach paper mill at the convergence of the Washougal and Columbia Rivers:

"We began setting up the odd tackle we'd together come to prefer: a stiff fibreglass fly rod and light spinning reel (mine open-faced, his closed); monofilament line a third the test of that used by most salmon fishermen (to increase casting distance). There wasn't a holy man in sight. There wasn't any kind of human in sight. The mill rumbled behind us like an insatiable stomach; tugs dragged log rafts up Crown Z's own private slough; a dredge worked the slough a half-mile downriver; trucks and cars whisked along the jettied highway across the bay; ships and barges plowed the Columbia beyond. It was the machines you saw and heard, though, not the people inside them. Industrial men, not holy ones. Them's the kind we grew in these parts."

I've met some wise and profoundly spiritual people who work in the resource industries, but Duncan's passage is certainly an interesting commentary on how the things we've created have skewed our perception of our place in the world.

Is the economy serving us, or are we serving the economy?

Seems that most of us don't quite know anymore.

Today's music is "Shenandoah" by Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band.

1 comment:

Jasmine said...

I'm thinking it's a balancing act--a tippy, touchy one; or it's like tether ball, which when you miss comes round to hit you in the back of the head.