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A word of thanks

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, January 6th, 2017 - 11 comments
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Sometimes people forget to say thank you. A small but common discourtesy and meanness. So let me make this minor adjustment to the world.

Robert Guyton wrote a good number of posts here in the two months before Christmas.

I’ve never met the man. I hope to. There aren’t a whole lot of idealists in the world. Of those idealists, fewer who do it, and do it for years; not for gain of anything the world respects, but because in one tiny speck of this blue miracle amidst stars you give life as if it’s the most generous thing you can offer. Trees of that scale require decades of you – longer than people raise children. That’s life far beyond the tactical;  to call it a strategy also seems somehow insulting.

So far as I could tell of those posts, there’s a minimum of preening, self-righteousness, bitterness at the inevitable beatings that the world hands out, or religious superiority. Simply a few lessons about tending the growth of carefully-chosen trees into gardens and from there into sanctuary.

These kinds of people, so far as i can tell, don’t even do it because they think that the right and good will win, or cosmic lessons must be scolded out, or that this old world will overturn and will in final measure be redeemed. What he’s done will outlast him, but I never detected it being out of any resistance against mortality itself, like some vain octogenarian art collector.

Today, it’s reported, one of the very last Shakers has died. Sister Frances Carr. Soon there will be not one of that movement left alive. Maybe in a hundred years someone will pick up the Shaker beliefs and dust them off to form further intentional community. Maybe. Point is, she lived it to the very last day of her life. And it was good.

You have to want to let something like Robert’s posts challenge your values. Allow it. Even harder to let that change alter your actions. And in doing so, ideally, not hate yourself for what you already do to start with. Or indeed let all the collected conspiracy and causation of this world make all your actions seem futile. That takes a certain rare lightness.

What the Robert Guyton posts was put a lighthouse on a rock. And from that lighthouse, glimpse others far in the distance. Those low-key idealists who do the work can be a lighthouse. Maybe that’s a politics, and maybe that doesn’t matter either.

So Mr Guyton, thankyou. You challenged me. I know I’m not the same as you. It’s important you exist. You’re doing an important thing. Do more. And when you’re ready, tell us more.

11 comments on “A word of thanks”

  1. Jenny Kirk 1

    totally agree with you. The Sundays writing were a great pleasure to read, and did actually inspire some thought in trying to do the same, albeit in a very small urban way.

  2. Pat 2

    hear hear

  3. Hanswurst 3

    Nice post. I believe that the second-to-last paragraph should begin, “What the Robert Guyton posts did was put a lighthouse on a rock.”

  4. weka 4

    You have to want to let something like Robert’s posts challenge your values. Allow it. Even harder to let that change alter your actions. And in doing so, ideally, not hate yourself for what you already do to start with. Or indeed let all the collected conspiracy and causation of this world make all your actions seem futile. That takes a certain rare lightness.

    One of the best summations of what is needed that I’ve seen in a long time, thanks Ad. Great post.

  5. gsays 5

    Thanks advantage, you have articulated beautifully my sentiments.
    Please keep up your contributions.

    Thanx again, g.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Good on you, Robert, hi from Dunedin 🙂

  7. So Mr Guyton, thankyou. You challenged me. I know I’m not the same as you. It’s important you exist. You’re doing an important thing.

    Same from me. We’ve argued plenty about genetic modification, but I wholeheartedly endorse the above statements – we need more of the country put back into trees, and anyone doing that and disseminating info on how to do it well is doing a great job.

  8. Over breakfast, my wife Robyn asked, “Why haven’t you replied to the post on The Standard?”
    “What post?”, I asked, having not had time during a very busy Friday of visits from friends and family to give the internet anything more than a cursory glance. She showed me Ad’s post and I’m still taken aback by his kind words; thank you, Ad, for your courtesy. I found being unexpectedly-thanked surprisingly moving. I especially like the way you write; your phraseology is elegant and it’s a pleasure to read whatever you post. Thanks also to those people who read and commented on my posts; that interplay was fun. All in all, being published on The Standard was a rewarding experience. I’d love to give it another whirl in 2017.

  9. Cinny 9

    + Infinity, beautifully said Advantage.

    Mr Guyton, Sir, you are all shades of awesome, a huge wealth of knowledge, articulate, practical and very intelligent. But above all you love nature, you are so fully aware that you are part of it and it is part of you, and you share the information you have gathered from many life times of experience. For that so deeply thankful we are.

    You are an ancient from the great grove, often we are actually remembering rather than learning, such remembering often comes from practical application. Keep doing what you are doing Sir and thanks again for sharing your wisdom and words, and and, please Sir when it is time, can we have some more, love your posts.

    And big up’s to The Standard for publishing Mr Guytons outlook and expertise.

    Much love and respect to you and yours.

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