Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Twelfth: Walden


59 pages so far of this book and its been less than 24 hours since I cracked it's cover. I've read many many Thoreau quotes, which I've been know to whip out in conversation like an intellectual assassin's throwing star, with out ever having read the source material. Being that now I'm in college, and learning is my prime directive, it might now be wise to work on filling the space between my ears with something other than articles in the fucking news paper and hit or miss science fiction stories. Well, I have read more than that, and used to on a regular basis but as of late getting my fingers on a computer for anything other than class work is a terrible trouble. Until recently, I had all but forgotten the Library. Yes that so sturdy and dependable though grossly underfunded branch of the U.S. government was had been nearly wiped from my mind in the past few years. See, the twig of the branch by my house was being renovated from 2005 to 2008 much to my dismay... brief dismay. When the Internet is available in abundance everything is at your fingertips.

[Editor's Note: I would like to inform you at this piont that if you are about to or have ever considered the act of eating Trappey's Canned Okra and Tomatoes, just please stop now. It will only end in heart ache and a lingering vinegar smell, which is disturbing as the ingredients do not list vinegar]

Today the library is open, media is again at my fingertips, though in a wholly physical way now, and the world is right again. Last night I checked out a 1999 hardback printing of the book. Due to a literary academic thing I attended, reading was postponed til late that evening when I managed to devour a whole 7 pages while keeping my eyes open and my head propped up against a pillow. The eye crossing was a problem and soon overcame me. The book wasn't picked up again until that morning. I have hardly put it down since, although due to it's antiquated language and thought provoking monsterparagraphs the eye crossing was still a problem, leading to about four naps of a very contemplative nature.

So far in my reading I've come to quite a few conclusions, some of which I see time ruining, some the course of the book disproving, others unclear in their reasoning may fall under their very weight. However its been fun to think these things, and it seems Thoreau felt the same way. He wished to be a wise man living a simple life, the only respite from the toil of survival being the enriching of the mind. Pretty fucking hot to a philosophy nerd such as myself I must say. Really, if I was a young farmers daughter in Concord during the 1840s I'm sure my prying visits would have been the foremost of Henry's troubles.
Reading the first chapter I can't help but be reminded of the story of Alexander Supertramp (AKA Chris Mccandless) which shook my life so violently last spring. In the chapter titled "Economy" Thoreau gives the reasons for why he set out in the wilderness, none much unlike the reasons Chris is thought to have had. There ends were much the same in theory, although Alex seemed to put into practice the wandering freedom Thoreau praises but hardly seems to experience himself. This may be in part due to age, Thoreau being thirty and well through his 'gotta see the world' years. Or maybe this difference did lie in the divergence of philosophies... Alex went to the woods to breathe, Henry to think. To my dismay I'll never know, these secrets and more are locked behind the lips of dead men.
These two fallen sojourners are my heroes, if one can truly find a hero in a man they haven't met. As is the brave and rightheaded author Voltairine de Cleyre. The idea of a hero disturbs me (more than anything produced by Trappey's)because what does it mean? What does it imply to recognize one with the title? Simply that, on par with a pat on the back or an entire temple complex. Well, I'm not sure. It's past my bed time. Even with all the sleep I've gotten the blankets still pull me with a great power... also I'd like to read some more of this book here. What's he getting on about cooperation? Society vs Man? I must know!
Anyway, even if I wont apply the term hero to these individuals, still I intend with all my cells and particles to follow their lead, or plot my own course very near theirs. For they have spelled out a life unlike the ones around me, more true and pure in every way that to ignore their examples would be to ignore a part of myself and I'd soon rather die than resign to such a fate.
[Editor's Note: I've been reading far far to many stirring old bits of literature, its starting to take over my own style. I apologize, unless you are as riled as I am and moved to emotions you haven't felt in weeks, then carry on]

1 comment:

Sally said...

This really doesn't make much sense...

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