About This Site

Organic/Mechanic has been Adam Har­vey’s weblog since 2002. He lives in Cleve­land, Ohio and any­thing else you want to know can be dis­cov­ered by dig­ging through the archive

Isn’t every human being both a sci­en­tist and an artist; and in writ­ing of human expe­ri­ence, isn’t there a good deal to be said for rec­og­niz­ing that fact and for using both meth­ods?”
James Agee from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

The time of get­ting fame for your name on its own is over. Art­work that is only about want­i­ng to be famous will nev­er make you famous. Any fame is a by-prod­uct of mak­ing some­thing that means some­thing. You don’t go to a restau­rant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.”

It is not the crit­ic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stum­bles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them bet­ter. The cred­it belongs to the man who is actu­al­ly in the are­na, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiant­ly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort with­out error and short­com­ing; but who does actu­al­ly strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthu­si­asms, the great devo­tions; who spends him­self in a wor­thy cause; who at the best knows in the end the tri­umph of high achieve­ment, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while dar­ing great­ly, so that his place shall nev­er be with those cold and timid souls who nei­ther know vic­to­ry nor defeat.”
Theodore Roo­sevelt — The Man in the Are­na

I wish to preach, not the doc­trine of igno­ble ease, but the doc­trine of the stren­u­ous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that high­est form of suc­cess which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from dan­ger, from hard­ship, or from bit­ter toil, and who out of these wins the splen­did ulti­mate tri­umph.”
Theodore Roo­sevelt — The Stren­u­ous Life

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the ani­mals, despise rich­es, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stu­pid and crazy, devote your income and labor to oth­ers, hate tyrants, argue not con­cern­ing God, have patience and indul­gence toward the peo­ple, take off your hat to noth­ing known or unknown or to any man or num­ber of men, go freely with pow­er­ful une­d­u­cat­ed per­sons and with the young and with the moth­ers of fam­i­lies, read these leaves in the open air every sea­son of every year of your life, re-exam­ine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dis­miss what­ev­er insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the rich­est flu­en­cy not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lash­es of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body…”
Pref­ace to Leaves of Grass — Walt Whit­man

A person comes forth to life and enters into death.
Three out of ten are partners of life,
Three out of ten are partners of death,
And the people whose every movement leads them to the
        land of death because they cling to life
Are also three out of ten.

          What is the reason for this?
          It is because they cling to life.

I have heard that
          One who is good at preserving life
            does not avoid tigers and rhinoceroses
              when he walks in the hills;
            nor does he put on armor and take up weapons
              when he enters a battle.
          The rhinoceros has no place to jab its horn,
          The tiger has no place to fasten its claws,
          Weapons have no place to admit their blades.

          What is the reason for this?
          Because on him there are no mortal spots.

Tao Te Ching (50) (Trans­lat­ed by Vic­tor H. Mair)