Sunday, 10 February 2008

Thoreau's Journal: 9-Feb-1852

I've added a historical blogs section to my blog roll, having taken great delight in reading Thoreau's Journal I thought it should be the first to appear.

Met Sudbury Haines on the river before the Cliffs, come a-fishing. Wearing an old coat, much patched, with many colors. He represents the Indian still. The very patches in his coat and his improvident life do so. I feel that he is as essential a part, nevertheless, of our community as the lawyer in the village. He tells me that he caught three pickerel here the other day that weighed seven pounds altogether. It is the old story. The fisherman is a natural story-teller. No man’s imagination plays more pranks than his, while he is tending his reels and trotting from one to another, or watching his cork in summer. He is ever waiting for the sky to fall. He has sent out a venture. He has a ticket in the lottery of fate, and who knows what it may draw? He ever expects to catch a bigger fish yet. He is the most patient and believing of men. Who else will stand so long in wet places? When the haymaker runs to shelter, he takes down his pole and bends his steps to the river, glad to have a leisure day. He is more like an inhabitant of nature.

His simple unobstructed way with words, never fails to conjure up the peace of a world seen without pretension. The list on Wikipedia of people who took his life and work as an inspiration is stunning. A real who's who of great thinkers and writers influenced by this most succinct of advice:
'Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined'

Thanks for reading