Fallen Big Sur tree could be library windfall

A potential disaster may turn out to be a blessing 
for an often-struggling nonprofit.
Operators of the Henry Miller Memorial Library 
plan to sell off the valuable wood of a 500-year-old coastal redwood tree 
that toppled during heavy rains in December. 
The tree just missed the stage and fell onto the parking lot.
The rare wood — its value is elevated is by its age — 
and the tree's historic significance could net up to $200,000, 
the library's operators said.
"It is like manna from heaven," said Magnus Toren, 
executive director of the library.

Henry Miller 
 to be followed by himself

Black Spring by Henry Miller

's review 
Mar 04, 12

Black Spring

When Barnie Rossetti, indomitable publisher of Grove Press, died, his obituary in the New York Times inspired me to pick up Black Spring from my bookshelf and devour it. What a treat! I reveled in this celebration of language.

Several elements recommend this remarkable collection of reminiscences, observations, and dream sequences, but the following quote embodies the spirit of Black Spring as a whole. 

"this day shines in my heart with such a ghastly brilliance that even if I were the saddest man in the world I should not want to leave the earth." 

In one sentence, Miller sums up his contradictory awareness that people and life might be harrowing and overwhelming, but that we can achieve redemption from alienation and loneliness through the embrace of life in totality. No filters, no clean divisions, and no conventional strictures -- just life in its messy, chaotic entirety.

Miller's work embraced that totality in its celebrations of sex, variety, writing, and quirky personalities. Sometimes profane, sometimes scurrilous, his choices of words and descriptions make me squirm sometimes, but his prose is lyrical, and the underlying tone is one of gleeful inclusion and assimilation into mysteries both epic and banal.  See also: Henry Miller on the Mystery of the Universe and the Meaning of Life

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