Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Zen of Reading Pirsig

   I first read Robert Pirsig's classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in the summer of 1983 on a driving trip around Vancouver Island.                                                        

There was a certain irony about driving in a car while reading about the connectedness of travelling on a motorcycle, but we were in an autocrosser and taking the vehicle way beyond its limits on the forestry roads. There was no chance for the glazed-over look of car passengers Pirsig describes.

The road to Holberg was 90 minutes of especially memorable driving (and we had further time to ponder as we waited for the garage to fix the damage after the return trip to Port Hardy).

I began the book while sitting on the sand beside San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park, after the 45-minute easy hike from the parking lot (and after the memorable 90-minute drive!).

The pictures of San Josef Bay cannot do it justice.

I "read" my way around the island, finishing in Cathedral Grove Park amidst the tall trees of the rainforest.

I will never know what influence the awesome settings had on my reading, but Pirsig's book has been one of those books that one always comes back to. I have re-read it a few times over the years.

I would like to invite Robert Pirsig to my soiree.


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