Tagged by a Meme While Shooting Polaris

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I have been tagged for a meme from Slowlane. I've never responded to a meme before, but Slowlane and I have a special relationship, and besides, while racing to finish an assignment before I leave town for a writer's conference, I had been thinking how long it had been since I posted anything new on my blog.

Look up from the computer, look around the room where you're sitting and pick up the closest book. Open the book, turn to page 123, count down to the fifth sentence on that page, and then post the next three sentences.

Quite conveniently, this meme arrived while I was sitting at my computer writing a response for a book my "Contemporary Memoir" class will be discussing tonight. So right at my elbow, I have a copy of Shooting Polaris: A Personal Survey of the American West, by John Hales. John was professor for a Creative Non-Fiction workshop I took three years ago, and ranks as one of my all-time favorite teachers, and I am very much enjoying his book. During the 1970's, while going to school and beginning a teaching career, John worked summers with teams surveying some of Utah's most rugged wilderness. I happen to have another document open with this introductory paragraph:

Context has almost an infinite number of facets. In Shooting Polaris, John Hales unwraps his own coming-of-age story in an ever-widening study of these varied interlocking and overlapping dimensions in which each human being must orient ones’ self: time, space, nature, technology, intellectual traditions, faith traditions, family, social networks, romantic attachments, occupation, morality, and more.

Unfortunately, page 123 has only the last four-and-a-half sentences in a chapter, so I must turn to page 124, which begins thus:

I learned about time, and about the way time flows through and beyond a person's life, from reading names and dates carved nearly a half century before into the soft white skin of a quaking aspen. I was seven years old. My family had pitched our tent in a Forest Service campsite situated where the pines and spruces of a steep mountainside gave way to the aspen groves that carpeted the gentler slopes of Snow Basin, a bowl-shaped valley high in the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah, not far from where I grew up.

Now I have to figure out who to tag, and how to tag them.

I guess I would like to tag John Hales, but I don't even know if he has a blog. So John, if you see this, leave a comment.

Next, I would like to tag my new son-in-law in Brazil, even if he has to post on Caedmonstia's blog, or start one of his own. I will make the effort to decipher the Portuguese.

And finally, I would like to tag my future daughter-in-law in China. If the closest book is in Chinese, I would greatly appreciate a translation, preferably into English. Same rules: If you would like to post on Serapio's blog, that's cool. 谢谢。

I didn't see in the rules how many people I'm supposed to tag, but this is probably enough.
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Posted by Brian at 2:45 PM  


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