From Composer in Nature’s University:
My closeness with father at first involved sharing his love of nature; hikes, bicycling in the countryside, picnics, mushroom hunting, rather unsuccessful trout fishing in nearby small streams. We made many trips into the Salève near Geneva, sleeping in farmhouses
or barns, eating the local bread and cheeses and a finger of vin du pays in my glass of water. And I remember with pleasure his reading to the assembled children from great works of literature, with emphasis on the elements of style. When I became an engineer, a special relationship developed. Father was fascinated by things scientific, especially the earth sciences: mycology, entomology, medicine and genetics. He often said he wished he’d become a man of science or a doctor of medicine. I am certain had he chosen any of these paths, he would have achieved greatness because of his unbelievable powers of observation, logical deduction and discipline. Much of this could be related to the voracious reading and pondering he did in philosophy, aesthetics and the basic sciences.
His mind was never at rest (he was afflicted with insomnia to boot). He pursued constantly
a myriad of questions about the great mystery in the logic of the universe: all in its place, all
in synergetic relationship, and all veritably inexplicable. …
He was virtually tireless, unstoppable, and endless. He wore out his listeners, no matter how devoted. He was bursting with ideas, tirades on the “mismanagement of the planet,” and always questions on how society was organized and disorganized, whereas nature seemed to operate within a grand scheme. But when walking in the woods, looking for
his favorite chanterelle spot, traversing dewy meadows, climbing the gentle slopes of the
Oregon countryside or Switzerland, fishing in a quiet brook or lake, then he was enveloped
by a pervasive peace which bathed those who happened to be with him. I cherish those moments when he would stop to look at a flower or a leaf on a tree in silent wonder and reverence. Then he did not need to talk. He absorbed and renewed himself.
– Ivan Bloch, April 1980