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Bruno Schulz, Father's Day, Journey, Salmon
"The irrepressible aliveness and weird wisdom of the father and son series should win it a lasting place in the literature of our day." -Globe & Mail, Toronto
Bruno Schulz, b. 1892

My birthday and Father’s Day coinciding. Five children, five grandchildren…

Reflecting on the "if only" moments in my life. No regrets, but journeys I made, some of them without exactly knowing why I was making them, leaving a thoroughly advantageous position (teaching in the Writing Program at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, for example) to go, as much on whim as anything else, to spend a year in London...

Reading David Grossman’s New Yorker (6/15/09) feature “The Age of Genius, The legend of Bruno Schulz.” A couple paragraphs in particular stand out: "…salmon have always seemed to be the living incarnation of a journey. They are born in freshwater rivers or lakes. They swim there for a while, and then head for salt water. In the sea, they travel in huge schools for thousands of miles, until they sense some inner signal, and the school reverses direction and begins to return home, to the place where its members were hatched. Again the salmon swim thousands of miles.

“Along the way, they are preyed upon by other fish, by eagles and bears. In dwindling numbers, they scoot upriver and leap against the current, through waterfalls twenty or thirty feet long, until the few that remain reach the exact spot where they were spawned, and lay their eggs. When the babies hatch, they swim over the dead bodies of their parents. Only a few adult salmon survive to perform the journey a second time.

“When I first heard about the life cycle of salmon, I felt that there was something very Jewish about it: that inner signal which suddenly resonates in the consciousness of the fish, bidding them to return to the place where they were born, the place where they were formed as a group. (There may also be something very Jewish in the urge to leave that homeland and wander all over the world—that eternal journey.)”

So blog becoming something of a scrapbook, snippets of things I want to remember… blog more handy, more efficient than the hardcopy journals I used to keep. Well, in truth, I still keep 'em.

6 Comment count
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Lovely reading for me

Lovely reading for me Robert. I could relate to the salmon and the desire to return to a place despite having travelled. I suppose you never lose that yearning to be home.....Happy Father's Day to you. Mp

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Warm, generous comment... I appreciate it... curious: what would you say is _your_ home? True home... I'm a Chicagoan at heart, born and raised there. But Santa Cruz, O Santa Cruz, is also "home"...

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Interesting. I suppose home

Interesting. I suppose home is where the heart is! I must say I love going back to California and if I could I would buy a house in Pacific Grove! When I am there I feel a kinship with the place and sometimes, sadly, when I am here in Ireland, I feel at odds until I get to my house and walk inside and close the door. Mp

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I understand. Lived in Canada for many years and, like you in Ireland, [sometimes] felt at odds... though sometimes, too, walking inside and closing the door wasn't enough either... the feeling "at odds" persisted.

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Free Book

As an experiment, I'm gonna be sending a free copy of my book "Rosicrucian in the Basement" to the first three people to comment in any way on this blog entry. If you're interested, please include your name and hard copy mailing address.

Thank you.

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Rosicrucian in the Basement

Robert, as a Red Room employee, I feel I should declare myself disqualified, but I'm wondering why Rosicrucian in the Basement (intriguing title!) doesn't appear on your Published Works page. A link in your comment to information about the book would egg people on.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room