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Being on the Oregon Coast: An Essay on Nature, Solitude, the Creation of Value, and the Art of Human Flourishing

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In 2016, months before his son was born, Scott F. Parker went to the Oregon coast to hold himself accountable for his first 35 years, to take stock of his life and what he’d learned so far, to ask what he might have to offer his son. For ten days he walked south keeping a notebook. Being on the Oregon Coast is the product of that journey. The book offers a condensed and sy In 2016, months before his son was born, Scott F. Parker went to the Oregon coast to hold himself accountable for his first 35 years, to take stock of his life and what he’d learned so far, to ask what he might have to offer his son. For ten days he walked south keeping a notebook. Being on the Oregon Coast is the product of that journey. The book offers a condensed and symbolic account of Parker’s walk as his thoughts roam over such territory as nature, solitude, the creation of value, and the art of human flourishing. The prose is reflective and deeply grounded in the environment it traverses. The Pacific Ocean, the beach, and the inland woods are felt presences even in Parker’s most philosophical turns. As in his previous book, A Way Home: Oregon Essays, Parker celebrates the natural beauty of his home state. His love for Oregon is a testament to the power of place. Being on the Oregon Coast takes readers for a long walk on the beach and leaves them energized—ready for their own walks, their own thoughts, and their own possibilities. It is a profound work.


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In 2016, months before his son was born, Scott F. Parker went to the Oregon coast to hold himself accountable for his first 35 years, to take stock of his life and what he’d learned so far, to ask what he might have to offer his son. For ten days he walked south keeping a notebook. Being on the Oregon Coast is the product of that journey. The book offers a condensed and sy In 2016, months before his son was born, Scott F. Parker went to the Oregon coast to hold himself accountable for his first 35 years, to take stock of his life and what he’d learned so far, to ask what he might have to offer his son. For ten days he walked south keeping a notebook. Being on the Oregon Coast is the product of that journey. The book offers a condensed and symbolic account of Parker’s walk as his thoughts roam over such territory as nature, solitude, the creation of value, and the art of human flourishing. The prose is reflective and deeply grounded in the environment it traverses. The Pacific Ocean, the beach, and the inland woods are felt presences even in Parker’s most philosophical turns. As in his previous book, A Way Home: Oregon Essays, Parker celebrates the natural beauty of his home state. His love for Oregon is a testament to the power of place. Being on the Oregon Coast takes readers for a long walk on the beach and leaves them energized—ready for their own walks, their own thoughts, and their own possibilities. It is a profound work.

6 review for Being on the Oregon Coast: An Essay on Nature, Solitude, the Creation of Value, and the Art of Human Flourishing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric Lehman

    Scott Parker's short and (deceptively) simple Being on the Oregon Coast is a beautiful meditation on nature, but not just the nature of the ground he walks, the bigger nature that includes everything from leaves to stars. Human flourishing requires our mindful attention to the flourishing all around us. In the race towards death, Parker tells us, we need to slow down. Scott Parker's short and (deceptively) simple Being on the Oregon Coast is a beautiful meditation on nature, but not just the nature of the ground he walks, the bigger nature that includes everything from leaves to stars. Human flourishing requires our mindful attention to the flourishing all around us. In the race towards death, Parker tells us, we need to slow down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Francesca G. Varela

    This short but powerful book holds the mighty gray waters of the Oregon Coast in its pages. I left the book craving a long hiking trip in which to wander, for I am inspired by Parker's deep thinking during his own adventures. This short but powerful book holds the mighty gray waters of the Oregon Coast in its pages. I left the book craving a long hiking trip in which to wander, for I am inspired by Parker's deep thinking during his own adventures.

  3. 5 out of 5

    TK421

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jake

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Barr

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

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