A flurry of pink kisses the early morning clouds and the moon is still basking in its glow from last night. Conversations from yesterday and memories with a friend still linger as I ruminate over the idea of “Carpe Diem”. GLORY is written across this day and I wait in expectation.
Our conversation, although not profound in any way necessarily, was an automatic comfort to me. Her mere voice transported me to being 16 again. The poetry obsession; the long evenings of philosophical banter over mochas at the local coffeehouse. We sat on the porch and pondered the exact moment our lives would coalesce with the universe and all would be as wonderful as we’d expected. Youth is a time of beauty, tragedy and conjecture.
After our conversation, I unearthed an old book in my library. A book that brought my soul so much torture and so much light all those years ago. As a teenager, my sole purpose behind living was to suck out all the marrow of life. “Walden”, by Henry David Thoreau, was the quintessential philosophy for the nature lover and for one who yearned for so much (and, as it turned out, that yearn for so much was really a yearn for so little.)
Here was a man who could write an ENTIRE paragraph on the nuances of the Huckleberry’s flavor. A page about the unseen otter, “who grows to be four feet long, as big as a small boy, perhaps without any human being getting a glimpse of him.” And then of course, there is the reading between the lines. The metaphors that my friend and I lived for!
I do not care if Henry was living on his parent’s property and wasn’t, according to some, “truly in the woods.” He was more in the woods than most of us ever will be!
See those clouds; how they hang! That’s the greatest thing I have seen to-day. There’s nothing like it in old paintings, nothing like it in foreign lands…I thought, as I have not eaten to-day, that I might go a-fishing. That’s the true industry for poets. It is the only trade I have learned. Come, let’s along.”
Simplicity. That is why this appealed to me at age 16, and why it still appeals to me 20 years later. It is a life where a loaf of bread on the shelf and some fish in a pond are all you need. A paper and pen, perhaps the crooked smile from a heron and toasting your feet beside a fire. The simple things.
Why do precisely these objects which we behold make a world?
Good question Mr. Thoreau. It has been a long journey looking for the woods, but I have already started a-foot. I hope to make it by sunset.