Being on the Oregon Coast

Being on the Oregon Coast

An Essay on Nature, Solitude, the Creation of Value, and the Art of Human Flourishing

Scott Parker


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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 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.


Scott Parker:
Scott F. Parker is the author of A Way Home: Oregon Essays and Running after Prefontaine: A Memoir. He has been published in Tin House, Philosophy Now, the Oregonian, and the Star Tribune. His work is included in anthologies such as Hood to Coast Memories, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy, and What Philosophy Can Tell You about Your Lover. He teaches at Montana State University in Bozeman, where he lives with his wife and son.