Two Tuesday Quotes: Muir and Krutch


A recent trip to Cedar Key, FL brought me face to face with John Muir. I was completely unaware of his impact on the Sunshine State, much less this small fishing (well, clamming) community that is Cedar Key. The historical marker at Cedar Key Museum State Park gives one a short explanation of the role John played and additional information can be found at the Florida State Parks site. His writings on Cedar Key can be found here. While visiting the park with my son he noted what I thought was an interesting point: “I don’t think John Muir would be happy with what the Sierra Club now does.” It prompted me to understand a bit more about who this man was and what he stood for in an effort to better appreciate my son’s perspective. Having been a member of the Sierra Club, reading their publications and listening to other members and critics I am not convinced my son is wrong.

As always I offer up this information for you to consider whether you agree or disagree. Regarding Mr. Krutch, I had never heard of him. His name popped up while researching Mr. Muir. The paths each man took to become involved in nature presented itself as mirror images to a certain degree.

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

John Muir

If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either.

Joseph Wood Krutch

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Two Tuesday Quotes: Thoreau and Mead


Things do not change; we change.
Henry David Thoreau

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
Margaret Mead
On Thoreau:
Over the years, Thoreau’s reputation has been strong, although he is often cast into roles — the hermit in the wilderness, the prophet of passive resistance (so dear to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King) — that he would have surely seen as somewhat alien. His work is so rich, and so full of the complex contradictions that he explored, that his readers keep reshaping his image to fit their own needs. Perhaps he would have appreciated that, for he seems to have wanted most to use words to force his readers to rethink their own lives creatively, different though they may be, even as he spent his life rethinking his, always asking questions, always looking to nature for greater intensity and meaning for his life.
– A comment by Ann Woodlief Emerita Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University
On Mead:
Of her life’s work, cultural anthropologist, museum curator and feminist scholar Margaret Mead once said, “I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples — faraway peoples — so that Americans might better understand themselves.”
– Meredith Melnick’s Time magazine piece about Mead as one of the 25 most powerful women of the past century