Recently I have found great kinship with a couple of American nature writers in the great tradition of Thoreau: Barry Lopez and Peter Matthiessen. Matthiessen is an intrepid and true explorer, who later in life became a Zen teacher, and in his writing and his character I find great inspiration. Some have described him as "always making things hard for himself." I find this is true; anything as sharp, polished, and penetrating as his mind is, does not come easily. He did everything the hard way, went to the ends of the earth and the depth of himself, sought after snow leopards and cranes and other mystical things, endured great distances and hardships, so that he became an instrument like a glistening diamond. The process is utterly complex, the result is utterly simple. I sense I wanted to be Matthiessen, before I've heard of Matthiessen, before I had an idea of a person as such an instrument.
All this is to say, I'm doing things the hard way. I feel like I have done it that way since I was 13. And I was looking for some reassurance that I am not just dense in some way.