Going out, I found, was really going in

close-up of paper money

There is a musical idea in every form

There is a musical idea in every form. See, hear, how sharp, loud, and clear-ringing are the tones of the sky-piercing peaks and spires; and how deep and smooth and massive those of the swelling domes and round-backed ridge-waves; and how quickly the multitude of small features in a landscape suggest hurrying trills and ripples and waves of melody. We not only see the forms and colors of the mountains, but hear them. Plants and animals also seem to be music both in form and color. Everything breaks forth into form, color, song, and fragrance – an eternal chorus of praise going up from every garden and grove, a wide chorus of praise going up from every garden and grave, a wide range of harmonies leading into the inner harmonies that are eternal.

Not like my taking the veil – no solemn abjuration of the world. I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

by John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914)
from John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1938, republished 1979
section – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
image – kevindooley

Seeking Peace

Muir wrote this in 1913. He died in 1914. The last bit could be an abbreviated summation of what he did with his life:

Not like my taking the veil – no solemn abjuration of the world. I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

So simple. So understated. No litany of achievements or disappointments. I am sure there was heartache and hyperbole at some point – not here.

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