Smells are a funny thing. Yesterday morning on the way to an EMT appointment, a smell flittered into our car that triggered an early memory.
Is “flittered” a word?
I think so. 🙂
The smell reminded me of new school books. Fun With Dick And Jane kind of books.
The smell of new napping rugs.
So we’re talking way back memories…
I liked school when I was little.
Heck I still like to read, and take naps.
Last Sunday morning, while walking through my buddy Jim’s sitting room, a book he is currently reading caught my eye. I was so tempted to plop down on his couch and check out.
Carpe Diem right? :
The room in his sitting room faces south. I built the addition a few years ago. Encouraged him to put lots of windows in because of the view.
Very much like this:
Grant Wood print.
Grant Wood grew up just minutes from here, and this picture is very typical of the terrain around here.
This was the book he is reading:
I asked Jim what he thought about the book. “Hard to understand.” he said sort of sheepishly.
(I remember trying to read it myself a couple of years ago, and while I did muddle through it, I remember having somewhat of a similar reaction.)
It is just a theory I have but I think many of us are more infatuated with the idea of escaping to the woods to live deliberately rather than being enamored with the contents of that book.
Walden starts out like this:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”
Now that sounds pretty good at face value. The thing is, Thoreau only lived in that setting for a short season of his life…parts of two years, two weeks, and two days, on the edge of town, in a cabin owned by his good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. After that, he went back into society.
In 1995 we moved to an old run down acreage with a set of 100-year-old farm buildings. Curb appeal it did not have. The house and out buildings hadn’t been painted in 50 years. Nothing appealing except that it was 4 miles from town, and the foundation on the house was still solid.
I have been slowly carving out my own version of Walden here ever since.
My vision of Walden would probably looks different from yours.
But I would suspect it would be built on the same foundation stone.
The stone of living life intentionally.
Talk to me about living life intentionally. What does that mean to you?