First Facts

What animal before being born human?

What plant?

Tallest mountain attempted?
The most treacherous?

How were you nearly killed by the
residents of a far-off nation?

Three books you’d take to the woods.

Getting in Deeper

Intentional community (utopian,
narchist, feminist, archaic)

you might have lived in before it was
scattered by officers of the State.

Historical epoch best suited to your
temper. Give three lines from
a poem you composed there.

Writer prior to the 20th century you would most like to sleep with.

Most useful oracle.

Dictionary most frequently visited.

These are the “permanent emotions”
(India): erotic, comic, compassionate,
angry, heroic, fearsome, odious,
marvelous, tranquil.
Add two more known only to yourself.

Foreign language you have vowed to master this lifetime.

Melville, Thoreau, Dickinson, Whitman, or Sor Juana Ines
de la Cruz? Anne Bradstreet,
Frederick Douglass, Chief Joseph,
Mother Jones?

The Rites of Night & Day

Pencil, pen, typewriter, laptop, or pocket knife?

Philosopher never read, but instinctively know has altered your life.

On a rocky outcropping, in a car,
in a café, gone “virtual,”
or sequestered among books?

Skills mastered in sleep.

Power objects you carry or wear at all times. Some of the time. To bed.

Magdalena, Odulvai, Tun Huang,
or Hovenweep?

Who among the old gods and
goddesses?

Farther back?

From Wild Form, Savage Grammar: Poetry, Ecology, Asia, © 2003 by Andrew Schelling. Reprinted with permission of La Alameda Press.

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