“Listening Point tells of what I have seen and heard on a bare glaciated spit of rock in the Quetico-Superior country. Each time I have gone there I have found something new that has opened up whole realms of thought and interest. From it I have glimpsed the immensity of space and at times the grandeur of creation.
“I believe that I have experienced there one of the oldest satisfactions of man; when as he gazed upon the earth and sky, he sensed the first vague glimmerings of meaning in the universe. I know that while we were born with curiosity and wonder, and our early years are full of the adventure they bring, such inherent joys are often lost. I also know that, being deep within us, their latent glow can be fanned to flame again by awareness and an open mind.
“Listening Point is dedicated to rekindling that flame by capturing this almost forgotten sense of wonder, and learning from rocks and trees and all the life that surrounds them truths that can encompass all.
“I named this place Listening Point because only when one comes to listen, only when one comes sharpens one’s awareness, can one see and hear in the sense in which I use these words. Everyone has a listening point somewhere, some quiet place where he can contemplate the awesome universe. This book is simply the story of what such a place has meant to me. The experiences that have been mine can be known by anyone who will make the effort.”
Thus the author of The Singing Wilderness sets the tone of his new book—a book that not only successfully recaptures the to-be-treasured sense of wonder of which he speaks, but also brings to life, in all its essential grandeur, the unparalleled heritage of lakes and rivers and forests we are so fortunate to be able to call our own. Listening Point is a book that will rekindle spirits wearied by the turmoils of twentieth-century living—that will teach us a new way to look at the world around us and to feel the better for it.
With 28 magnificent black-and-white drawings by Francis Lee Jacques.
Sigurd F Olson
About Sigurd F Olson
Sigurd F. Olson was for more than thirty years a wilderness guide in the Quetico-Superior country, and no one knew with the same intimacy the mysteries of the lakes and forests of that magnificent primitive area. To the many out-of-doorsmen who canoed and portaged with him through this wilderness, he was known honorifically as the Bourgeois -- as the voyageurs of old called their trusted leaders through this same region.Mr. Olson was born in Chicago in 1899, and educated at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois. For several years he taught biology at Ely Junior College and later served as Dean. He was President of the National Parks Association, a member of its Board of Trustees, and was for years active in organizations devoted to conservation problems.Mr. Olson was a frequent contributor to magazines concerned with the outdoors, and is the author of several books including Listening Point, The Lonely Land, Runes of the North, Reflection from the North Country, and Of Time and Place. Until his death in 1982, he made his home with his wife, Elizabeth, in Ely, Minnesota, gateway to his beloved Quetico-Superior country.