Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's fitting: fine writing about a fine day

Published in the July 2 NYTimes, Verlyn Klinkenborg’s latest editorial comment on the Rural Life is about “One Fine Day.” For him, it occurred late last month – one of those wondrous June days.

Till I saw there were steps to go through for permission to reprint, I had briefly thought of cutting and pasting the whole thing right here. Now, I’ll limit myself to a couple excerpts with a link to the piece, and a few specifics about it.

Let’s start there, with the specifics. Klinkenborg’s editorial is a mere 349 words, counting headline and byline. It’s only five paragraphs long. And it’s great.

His farm has for years been a place that prompts his musing about life – his and that of the animals there – and that musing usually becomes lyrical songs to nature and life. “One Fine Day” is such a song.

In it, Klinkenborg alludes to bees, woodchucks, kit foxes, spiders, ants and earwigs. Six kinds of creatures, besides himself, in five paragraphs. And he says just enough about each one for an image to readily come to mind.

“Any object I move, I discover a colony of creatures behind or under or inside it. This is a farm of overlapping settlements and empires, . . .”

And “I take refuge in the chaos of life here. It is what we have — 'we' meaning the kinship of all species.”

“One Fine Day,” with the world’s creatures in harmony, and at least one of them recognizing the day and the creatures’ connections for what they are.

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