I have been writing far too many critiques this month, I need to cool my heated brain with some reading - my own chosen reading
I'm continuing my quest for writings on reading, and, strangest of strange, I've started to read H.D.Thoreau (1817-1862) (I'm really surprising myself these days!)
I'm starting with Where I Lived, and What I Lived For, which is an excerpt from Walden, reading it together with The Portable Thoreau
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life . . . and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Walden, the place of Thoreau's cottage in the woods, the setting for one of his most famous books: Walden
Thoreau regarded his sojourn at Walden as an experiment with a threefold purpose.
- First, he was escaping the dehumanizing effects of the Industrial Revolution by returning to a simpler, agrarian lifestyle.
- Second, he was simplifying his life and reducing his expenditures, increasing the amount of leisure time in which he could work on his writings (most of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers was written at Walden). Much of the book is devoted to stirring up awareness of how one's life is lived, materially and otherwise, and how one might choose to live it more deliberately.
- Third, he was putting into practice the Transcendentalist belief that one can best "transcend" normality and experience the Ideal, or the Divine, through nature.
To my knowledge I'm not an environmentalist, and I'm not into simple living... My purpose reading Thoreau is, I believe, to find or become more aware of life as a happening here and now. To feel alive - to be here - as my life unfolds, in its small scale, the only scale that really matters.