Thank You Henry David Thoreau…

I love this quote  by HDT and was inspired to write today after reading it again.

“…and instead of studying how to make it worth men’s while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them.”

from the chapter “Economy” in Walden, H.D. Thoreau

And so this is my wish, pipe dream though it may be.  I have a child now and naturally am becoming more of a child myself; recognizing what is never lost but only covered by convention and fear.   And so I wonder, as I sit and type my music on this glorious, blue-cold winter day, watching my son explore, I wonder what he can expect from society and I think to myself…nothing…if I do my job right as a father, as a parent, he will expect nothing.

I think I am done with wondering why people do a certain thing, why life and times are the way the are.   I think yelling and anger about perceived (or real) ills is the best solution for not changing them.   I think I’ve probably spent too much time in the comfort of my anger and indignation and been rewarded with the consequences of that comfort – more of the same.

I have awoken into a world that has forgotten what it is to live.   Into a world where magnificence is just a word, a world where technology is held up above the human spirit, a world where paying for life is now the norm.  I can leave the questions for my son, the “why’s” the “how did you allow this”; I don’t deserve them.   The world is the way it is today because we’ve all decided that this is what we want.   It is not complicated.  I think about what I can do, what action I can take to help align the world to my values and then, thankfully, I catch myself, chuckle and grin at my beautiful ego and all it thinks possible.   Align the world to myself, HA!   As if there is an alignment possible that will somehow relieve me of my own responsibility in living.   Of my responsibility to the recognition of my values and my value.   Of the responsibility to uphold my values no matter what the world looks like.   How many of us have used the excuse of the world to justify our actions, to allow compromise in ourselves…it’s no wonder we live in the world we do today.  And yet there is the most tremendous beauty.  Still.  Always.  In everything, everywhere.

I think where we have forgotten ourselves is in our compromise and there is no despair necessary to correct this.   I have no doubt (and little consolation) that we small and infinite people have been like the frog in the pot.   There has been someone at the stove controlling the temperature, turning it up, slowly, it’s been hard to notice, especially for those multitudes who have been taught from such a young age to take authority as truth.   After all what foundation is there to be discovered if one doesn’t know to check underneath the foundation.

And so I look into my young son’s eyes and there is only the staggering joy of life staring back at me and I am either open or closed to it.   I choose to be open and in that openness to the joy of life I see many things, many things; some painful, some pleasurable and all, all joyful.  There is one thing I don’t see however.   I don’t see authority for authorities sake, I don’t see control for powers sake and I don’t see selling for money’s sake. And with this my friends I wish for you peace and good fortune but I know that you…we…will all get what we want regardless of my wishes.

Let’s see where it all goes.

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One response to “Thank You Henry David Thoreau…”

  1. Andrea says :

    I too have had versions of your thoughts, which you have so eloquently written, for the last few years and agree that we have the power to turn back the clock where we can live thoughtfully, tread so lightly that we enhance our small world and one person at at time we will re-calibrate our world that has gone so far away from living. A friend recently told me that to truly live in a way that doesn’t impact our world negatively we should all live together in small huts wearing birch bark clothes and gather and hunt only that which we can find by walking. Still questioning that notion but it still keeps me thinking and questioning with a smile and great curiosity.


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