JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 1

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

October 2004

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NOTES:
-"Bcc" feature in use! No more huge printout of email addresses! Do you have any friends who might like to receive this, especially L-S friends? The list is getting huge. I love it!
-If you have received this twice, please tell me.
-To all L-S alumni on this email list: A DVD of the L-S Great Gathering is available. See below for details

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"Says I to myself" should be the motto of my journal."
-Journal, November 11, 1851

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

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The 6th year of Journal Drippings commences. For friends, colleagues, and former students, here are excerpts from Thoreau's masterpiece: his 8,000-plus page journal, which I am trying (with pleasure) to get through.

Have a good year all!

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I love to sit here and look into the broad deep vale in which the shades of night are beginning to prevail. (June 6, 1854)

*******

The chief want is ever a life of deep experiences. (June 7)

*******

When our wants cease to be chiefly superficial and trivial...and begin to be wants of character, then the great resources of a country are taxed out, and, the result, the staple production, is poetry. (Same)

*******

Was that country [Virginia] designed by its maker to produce slaves and tobacco, or something more even than freemen and food for freemen? (Same)

*******

I should like to know the birds of the woods better...What musicians compose our woodland quire? They must be forever strange and interesting to me. (June 9)

*******

How indispensable all these experiences to make up the summer! It is the emblem of purity, and its scent suggests it. Growing up in stagnant and muddy [water], it bursts up so pure and fair to the eye, and so sweet to the scent, as if to show us what purity and sweetness reside in, and can be extracted from the slime and muck of the earth...What conformation of our hopes is in the fragrance of the water lily. I shall not soon despair of the world for it, notwithstanding slavery and lack of principle in the North...It reminds me that Nature has been partner to no Missouri Compromise. (June 16)

(After fugitive slave Anthony Burns was captured, arrested, and re-enslaved): "I had never respected this government. But I had foolishly thought I might manage to live here, attending to my private affairs and forget it....I feel that to some extent the state has fatally interfered with my just and proper business. I am surprised to see men going about their business as if nothing had happened...It is not an era of repose. If we would save our lives, we must fight for them."
(Same)

*******

We walk to lakes to see our serenity reflected in them. When we are not serene, we do not go to them. Who can be serene in a country when both rulers and ruled are without principle? The remembrance of the baseness of politicians spoils my walks. My thoughts are murder to the state...I trust that all just men will conspire.

*******

(Regarding the Anthony Burns Affair): "Some men act as if they believed they could safely slide downhill a little way-or a good way...But there is no such thing as accomplishing a moral reform by the use of expediency. There is no such thing as sliding uphill. In morals, the only sliders are backsliders." (June 17)

*******

A thunderstorm in the North. Will it strike us? How impressive this artillery of the heavens. (June 19)

*******

What a luxury to bathe now! It is gloriously hot, the first of this weather. I cannot get wet enough. I must let the water soak into me. (July 3)

*******

I feel the necessity of deepening the stream of my life; I must cultivate privacy...I cannot spare my moonlight and mountains for the best of man I am likely to get in exchange. (August 2)

*******

As I go up the hill, surrounded by its shadow, while the sun is setting, I am soothed by the delicious stillness of the evening...I was surprised by the sound of my own voice. It is an atmosphere burdensome with thought. For the first time for a month at least, I am reminded that thought is possible. The din of trivialness is silenced. I float over or through the deeps of silence. It is the first silence I have heard for a month. (Same)

*******

Field today sent me a specimen copy of Walden. It is to be published on the 12th inst. [Ed: of July?] (Same)

*******

After sunset, a very thick and flat white fog like a napkin on the meadows, which ushers in a foggy night. (Same)

*******
How can we expect a harvest of thought who have not had a seedtime of character? (August 7)

*******

To Boston-Walden published. Elderberries. Waxwork yellowing. (August 9)

*******

As I go home by Hayden's, I smell the burning meadow. I love the scent. It is my pipe. I smoke the earth. (August 15)

END OF VOLUME VI OF THOREAU'S JOURNAL

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"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they
were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most
others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to
understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being
a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he
so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in
the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge."

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of
the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love
to think of...I feel ripe for something...yet can't discover what that
thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain
fallow long enough." -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the
strangest" -HDT

***********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date,
just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net
or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

********************************************************

MORE NOTES:

Non-Paid Advertisement: A DVD of the Great Gathering is now available. To order go to the following web page: http://memoryworks.net/store/page12.html

It was a great event. If you couldn't come, here it is. If you did, relive it. A share of the proceeds will go to the L-S Alumni Fund for disbursement to worthy causes. (Trust me!)

**********************************************************

And by the way, several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film in the spring.

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JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 2

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

November 2004

*******

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself" should be the motto of my journal."
-Journal, November 11, 1851

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Volume VII of Thoreau's Journal Commences
September 1854-October 1855

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The height of the railroad bridge, already high (more than twenty feet to the top of the rail), was doubled by the reflection, equally that of a Roman aqueduct, for we could not possibly where the reflection began and the piers to rise from the lowest part of the reflection to the rail, about fifty feet. We floated directly under it, between the piers, as if in mid-air, not being able to distinguish the surface of the water and looked down more than twenty feet to the reflected flooring, through whose intervals we saw the star lit sky. The ghostly piers stretched downward on all sides, and only the angle made by their meeting the real ones betrayed where was the water surface. (September 7, 1854)

********

Or if we listened closely we heard the still faint and distant barking of dogs. They rule the night. (Same)

********

Returning to the boat, saw a glow worm in the damp path in the low ground. Returning later, we experienced better the weird-like character of the night, especially received the fragrance of the grapes, and admired the fair smooth fields in the bright moonlight. There being no mist, the reflections were wonderfully distinct, the whole of the Bittern cliff with its grove, was seen beneath the waves. (Same)

********

(Mentions a leaf changing color): "It is a leaf for poets to sing about, a leaf to inspire poets. Now, while I am gathering grapes, I see them. It excites me to a sort of autumnal madness." (Sept 8)

********

Earth was not made to be poisonous and deadly to them. The earthy has some virtue in it; when seeds are put into it they germinate; when turtle eggs, they hatch in due time...Thus the earth is the mother of all creatures. (Sept. 9)

********

(On thinking of writing lectures): "I realize how incomparably great the advantages of poverty and obscurity which I have enjoyed so long (and may still perhaps enjoy). I thought with more than princely with what poetic leisure I had spent my years hither to, without care or engagement fancy free. I has given myself up to Nature; I have lived so many springs and autumns and winters as if I had nothing else to do but live them and imbibe whatever nutriment they had for me. I have spent a couple of years, for instance, with the flowers, chiefly, have none other binding attachment, as to observe when they opened. I could have afforded to spend a whole fall observing changing tints of the foliage, oh, how I have thriven on solitude and poverty...If I go abroad lecturing, how shall I recover the lost winter?"

********

I sometimes seem to myself to owe all my little success, for which men commend me, to my vices. I am perhaps more willful than others and make enormous sacrifices, even of others' happiness, it may be, to gain my ends, It would seem even as if nothing good could be accomplished without some vice to aid in it. (September 21)

********

By moonlight we are not of the earth earthy, but we are of the earth spiritual. (September 22)

********

By moonlight all is simple. We are enabled to erect ourselves, our minds, on account of the fewness of objects. We are no longer distracted. It is as simple as the rudiments of an art-a lesson to be taken before sunlight, perchance to prepare us for that. (Same)

********

Winter has come unnoticed by me, I have been so busy writing. This is the life most men lead in respect to Nature. How different from my habitual one. It is hasty, coarse, and trivial, as if you were a spindle in a factory. The other is leisurely, fine, and glorious, like a flower. In the first case you are merely getting your living. In the second, you live as you go along. (December 8)

********

There is a glorious, clear sunset sky, soft and delicate, and warm even like a pigeon's neck. Why do the mountains never look so fair as from my native fields? (Same)

********

(After taking a walk in the woods) " I felt the winter breaking up in me, and if I had been at home I should have tried to write poetry." (December 26)

********

How glorious the perfect stillness and peace of the winter landscape! (December 31)

**********************************************************

"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge."

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough." -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest" -HDT

**********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

********************************************************

Non-Paid Advertisement: A DVD of the Great Gathering is now available. To order, go to the following web page: http://www.memoryworks.net/store/

It was a great event. If you couldn't come, here it is. If you did, re-live it. A share of the proceeds will go to the L-S Alumni Fund for disbursement to worthy causes. (Trust me!)

**********************************************************

And by the way, several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film in the spring.

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JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 3

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

DECEMBER 2004

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BCC back on!....SEASON'S GREETINGS!!
**********************************************************

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself" should be the motto of my journal."
-Journal, November 11, 1851

**********************************************************

The delicious, soft spring suggesting air-how it feels my veins with life! Life becomes again credible to me. A certain dormant life awakens in me, and I begin to love nature again. Here is my Italy, my heaven, my New England. (January 7, 1854)

********

How fully of life and of eyes is the damp back! It would not be worth the while to die and leave all this life behind one. (Same)

********

This winter I hear the axe in almost every wood of any consequence left standing in the township.
(January 9)

********

I hear faintly the cawing of a crow, far, far away, echoing from some unseen woodside...It mingles with the slight murmur of the village,the sound of children at play,, as one stream empties gently into another and the wild and tame are one. What a delicious sound! It is not merely crow calling to crow, for it speaks to me too. I am part of some great creature with him. If he has a voice, I have ears. I hear him when he he calls and have engaged not to shoot or stone him if he will caw to me each spring. On the one hand, children at school saying their "a-b's", on the other far in the wood-fringed horizon, the cawing of crows from their blessed eternal vacation, out of their long recess, children who have been dismissed! (January 8)

********

I never saw the blue in snow so bright as this damp, dark stormy morning at 7am as I was coming down the railroad...suggesting that in the darkest storms we may still have the hue of heaven in us. (January 14)

********

Young white pines often stood draped in robes of purest white, emblems of purity, like a maiden who has taken the veil, with their heads slightly bowed and their main stems slanted to one side, like travelers bending to meet the storm with their heads muffled in their coats. (January 19)

********

[After a snow-storm:] "The world is not only new to the eye but is still as at creation; every blade and leaf is hushed; not a bird or insect is heard; only perchance, a faint sleigh-bell in the distance." (January 20)

********

[In the Adirondacks] "I was surprised to find the ice in the middle of the last pond a beautiful delicate rose color for two or three rods. It reminded me of red snow....I was this delicate rose tint, with internal bluish tinges like "mother-o'-pearl" or the inside of a conch. It was...the color of cranberry juice. This beautiful blushing ice! What are we coming to?" (January 24)

********

Not a leaf flutters; summer or winter but its variation and dip and intensity are registered in THE BOOK. (Same)

********

[On an offering of the Maryland State lottery] "Maryland and every fool who buys a ticket of her is bound straight to the bottomless pit. The State of Maryland is a moral fungus; it smells to heaven."
(January 27)

********

I go across Walden. My shadow is very blue. It is especially blue when there is bright sunlight on pure white snow. It suggests that there may be something divine, something, celestial, in me.
(February 10)

********

All day a steady, warm, imprisoning rain carrying off the snow, not unmusically on my roof. It is a rare time for the student and reader who cannot go abroad in the afternoon, provided he can keep awake, for we are wont to be as drowsy as cats in such weather. (February 15)

********

The sun goes down tonight under clouds-a round red orb-and I am surprised to see that its light, falling on my book and the wall, is a beautiful purple, like the poke stem or perhaps some kinds of wine. (February 22)

********

Staples said the other day that he heard Phillips speak at the State House. By thunder! he could never hear a man who could speak like him. It was just like picking up chips. (February 26)

********

Heard two hawks scream. There was something truly March-like in it., like a prolonged blast or whistling of the wind through a crevice in the sky, which, like a cracked blue saucer, overlaps the woods. (March 3)

********

Our woods are now so reduced that the chopping of this winter has been a cutting to the quick.
(March 6)

********

Trying the other day to imitate the honking of geese, I found myself flapping my sides with my elbows as with wings and uttering something like the syllables, "Mow-ack," with a nasal twang and twist in my head, and I produced their note so perfectly in the opinion of the hearers that I thought I might possibly draw a flock down.. (March 20)

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**********************************************************

"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge."

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough." -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest" -HDT

**********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

********************************************************

Non-Paid Advertisement: A DVD of the Great Gathering is now available. To order, go to the following web page: http://www.memoryworks.net/store/

It was a great event. If you couldn't come, here it is. If you did, re-live it. A share of the proceeds will go to the L-S Alumni Fund for disbursement to worthy causes. (Trust me!)

**********************************************************
**********************************************************
**********************************************************

JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 4

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

JANUARY 2005

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Let hope for Happier New Year for all of us, and especially
for the many who are suffering in this sad little world of ours.
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"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself" should be the motto of my journal."
-Journal, November 11, 1851

**********************************************************

[Says he has never seen an otter-April 6, 1855]

*******

When the heron takes flight, what a change in size and appearance. It is presto change! There go two undulating wings pinned together, but body and head must have been left behind somewhere. (April 15)

*******

What if we feel a yearning to which no breast answers? I walk alone. My heart is full. Feelings impede the current of my thoughts. I knock on the earth for my friend. I expect to meet him at every turn, but no friend appears and perhaps none is dreaming of me. I am tired of frivolous society in which silence is forever the most natural and best manners. I would fain walk on the deep waters, but my companions will only walk on the shallows and puddles...Two yards of politeness do make not make society for me. One complains that I do not take his jokes. I took them before he had done uttering them, and went my way. One talks to me of his apples and pears and I depart with my secret untold. His are not the apples that tempt me. Now after 4 or 5 months of invalidity and worthlessness, I begin to feel some stirrings of life within me.
(June 11).

*******

The leaves fallen apparently last night now lie thick on the water next to the shore, concealing it, fleets of dry boats blown with a rustling sound. (October 12)

*******

The maples now stand like smoke along the meadow. (October 13)

*******
(On reading about gold digging]: ...I was thinking about my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do with any fixed star habitually in my eye, my foot not planted on any blessed-isle. Then with that vision of the diggings before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the fine particles, or might not sink a shaft within me and work that mine...Pursue some path, though narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. Whenever a man separates from the multitude and goes his own way, there is a fork in the road, though the travelers along the highway see only a gap in the paling. (October 17)

*******

How much beauty in decay! I pick up a white oak leaf, dry and stiff, but yet mingled with red and green, October-like...(October 18)

*******

I have collected and split up now quite a pile of driftwood....Each still I deal with has a history, and I read it as I am handling it, and last of all I remember my adventures in getting it, while it is burning in the winter evening. That is the most interesting part of its history. It has made part of a fence or bridge...Thus half the value of wood is enjoyed before it is housed...Some of my acquaintances have been wondering why I have taken the pains, bringing them nearly 3 miles by water...I like best the bread I have baked, the garment I have constructed, the fuel which I have gathered. (October 20)

*******

It has always been a recommendation to me to know that a man has ever been poor...and have eaten a crust because they had nothing better, and know what sweetness resides in it. I have met with some barren accomplished gentlemen who seem to have been to school all their lives, and never had a vocation to live in. Oh, if they could only have been stolen by the gypsies and carried far beyond their the reach of their guardians! They had much better have died in their infancy and been buried under the leaves, their lips besmeared with blackberries and Cock Robin their sexton. (Same)

*******

It is worse than boorish, it is criminal to inflict an unnecessary injury on the tree that feeds or shadows us. Old trees are our parents, and our parents' parents perchance. If you would have learned the secrets of Nature you must practice more humanity than others...Behold a man cutting down a tree to come at the fruit. What is the moral of such an act? (October 23)

*******

Another clear, cold day, though not as cold as yesterday. The light and sun come to us directly and freely, as if some obstruction had been removed--the windows of heaven had been washed. (October 26)

*******

[On apples]: What is sour in the house bracing walk makes sweet. Let your condiments be in the condition of your senses. (October 29)

*******

I have got a a load of hardwood stumps. For sympathy with my neighbors, I might as well live in China. They are to me barbarians with their committee-works and gregariousness. (Same)

*******

THIS MARKS THE END OF OF THE FIRST HALF OF THOREAU'S JOURNAL (VOLUMES 1-VII), SPANNING OCTOBER 22,1837 TO OCTOBER 29, 1855

I BEGAN READING THE JOURNAL ON JULY 17, 1997 AND COMPLETED VOLUME VII ON
JULY 13, 2003.

WITH THE FEBRUARY INSTALLMENT OF THIS EMAIL DIGEST, JOURNAL DRIPPINGS WILL PUSH ON TOWARD (AND INTO) THE REMAINING SEVEN VOLUMES.

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"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge."

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

**********

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough." -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest" -HDT

**********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

********************************************************
A new L-S alumni page has been launched at the school web site, at:
http://lsrhs.net/alumni/default.html
Help spread the word!

********************************************************

Non-Paid Advertisement: A DVD of the Great Gathering is now available. To order, go to the following web page: http://www.memoryworks.net/store/
It was a great event. If you couldn't come, here it is. If you did, re-live it. A share of the proceeds will go to the L-S Alumni Fund for disbursement to worthy causes. (Trust me!)

**********************************************************

And by the way, several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film, The Story of Trees, in the spring.

**********************************************************
**********************************************************
**********************************************************

JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 5

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

FEBRUARY 2005

**************************************************************

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself: should be the motto of my journal.:
-Journal, November 11, 1851

**************************************************************

[On a beautiful Indian Summer Day]: "This, too, is the recovery of the year,- as if the year, having nearly or quite accomplished its work were in a more favorable or poetic mood. The river is smooth...This is the November shore.: (November 1, 1855)

**********

It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild apple. (Nov. 4)

**********

I hate the present mode of living and getting a living. Farming and shopkeeping and working at a trade or profession are all odious to me. I should relish getting my living in a simple, primitive fashion. The life which society proposes to me to live is so artificial and complex-bolstered up on many weak supports and sure to topple down at last that no man can be inspired to live it...At best some think it their duty to live it....The fellow man to whom you are yoked is a steer that is ever bolting right the other way. (Nov. 5)

**********

Thus we invite the devil in at every angle and then prate about the Garden of Eden and the fall of man. (Same)

**********

I know of many children to whom I would fain make a present on some one of their birthdays, but they are so far gone in the luxury of presents-and have such perfect museums of costly ones-that it would would absorb my entire earnings for a year to buy them something which would not be beneath their notice. (Same)

**********

[He sees a white pine stump]: "I look upon it with interest and wish I had it at my door, as there are many warm fires in that. You have many thoughts and tell many stories while that was burning.: (Same)

**********

I can hardly resist the inclination to collect driftwood... (Nov. 6)

**********

Men ordinarily do not have the pleasure of sawing and splitting their own wood even, for while they are buying it an Irishman stands with his sawhorse on his back, and the next thing I see him in their yards....--sawing for dear life and two shillings a cut. (Same)

**********

I find it good to be out this still, dark, mizzling afternoon; my walk or voyage is more suggestive and profitable than in bright weather. The view is contracted by the misty rain, the water is perfectly smooth, and the stillness is favorable to reflection. I am more open to impressions, more sensitive (not calloused or indurated by sun and wind), as if in a chamber still. My thoughts are concentrated; I am all compact. The solitude is real too, for it keeps other men at home...The sound of a wagon going over an unseen bridge is louder than ever, and so of other sounds. I am compelled to look at near objects. All things have a soothing effect; the clouds and mist brood over me. My power of observation and contemplation is much increased. My attention does not wander. The world and my life are much simplified. What now of Europe or Asia? (Nov. 9)

**********

[On seeing a "splendid male duck: which he had first mistaken for a "brighter leaf moved by a zephyr:]: "It has a large, rich, flowing, green burnished crest-a most ample headdress-two crescents of dazzling white on the side of the head and the black neck, a pinkish (?)-red bill (with black tip) and similar irides, and a long white mark under and at wing point on sides, the side, as if the form of a wing at this distance, light bronze or greenish brown; but above all, its breast, when it turns into the right light, all aglow with splendid purple (?) or ruby (?) reflections, like the throat of a hummingbird. It might not appear so close at hand. That was the most surprising to me. What an ornament to a river to see that glowing gem floating in contact with its waters! As if the hummingbird should recline its ruby throat and its breast on the water. Like a glowing coal in water! It so affected me...: (Same).

**********

That dusk was all the jewels combined, showing different lusters, as it turned on the unrippled element in various lights, now brilliant, glossy green, now dusky violet, now a rich bronze, now the reflections that sleep in the ruby's grain. (Same)

**********

[He finds a large, heaving plank of wood floating on the river and tows it home]: "As I shall want some shelves to put my oriental books on...I deal so much with my fuel-, what with finding it, loading it, conveying it home, sawing, and splitting it-get so many values out of it, am warmed in so many ways by it, that the heat it will yield when in my stove is of a lower temperature and lesser value in my eyes-though when I feel it I am reminded of all my adventures...Yes, I lose sight of the ultimate uses of the wood, the immediate ones are so great...: (Same)

**********

I affect what would commonly be called a mean and miserable way of living. I thoroughly sympathize with all savages and gypsies insofar as they merely assert the original right
of man to the productions of Nature. The Irish man moves into town, and sets up a shanty near the railroad land, and there gleans the dead wood from the neighboring forest which would never get to market. But the so-called owner forbids it and complains of him as a trespasser. The highest law gives a thing to him that can use it. (Same)

**********

I hear the gray squirrels coursing about on the dry leaves pursuing one another on their winding way, on their unweariable legs, on their undulating and winding course. It is a motion intermediate between running and flying. (November 11)

**************************************************************

"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge.:

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

**********

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something ...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough.: -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest: -HDT

***********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

********************************************************
A new L-S alumni page has been launched at the school web site, at:
http://lsrhs.net/alumni/default.html
Help spread the word!

********************************************************

Non-Paid Advertisement: A DVD of the Great Gathering is now available. To order, go to the following web page: http://www.memoryworks.net/store/ It was a great event. If you couldn't come, here it is. If you did, re-live it. A share of the proceeds will go to the L-S Alumni Fund for disbursement to worthy causes. (Trust me!)

*************************************************************

And by the way, several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film, The Story of Trees, in the spring.

*************************************************************
*************************************************************
JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 6

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

March 2005

***********************************************************

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself: should be the motto of my journal.:
-Journal, November 11, 1851

**************************************************************

[He describes a man, Mr. Rice, who leads a modest, self-reliant life. He fixes things himself to save money, but also enjoys doing it. He grows potatoes, collects the wood he uses, but still has times to go fishing and hunting with his son. Here is what Thoreau says about him:] "And thus their life is a long sport, and they know not what hard times are.: (Nov. 17, 1855)

*********

I was so warmed in spirit in getting my wood that the heat it finally yielded when burnt was coldness in comparison. That first is a warmth you can not buy. (Same)

*********

Instead of walking in the wood market amid sharp-visaged teamsters, I float over dark reflecting waters in which I see mirrored the stumps on the bank, and am dazzled by the beauty of a summer duck. Though I should get no wood, I should get a beauty yet more valuable. The price of this my wood is the very thing I delight to buy. What I obtain with the most labor...warms the most. The greater too, the distance from which I have conveyed it, the more I am warmed by it in my thought. All the intervening shores glow and are warmed by it as it passes, or as I repass them in my mind.(Nov. 18)

*********

One man thinks he has a right to burn his 30 chords in a year because he can give a certain sum of money in exchange for them, but that another has no right to pick up up the fagots which else nobody would burn. They who will remember only this kind of right do as if they they stood under a shed and affirmed that they were under unobscured heavens. The shed has its use, but what is it to the heaven's above? (Same)

*********

Men prefer foolishly the gold to that of which it is the symbol-simple, honest, independent labor. Can gold be said to buy food, if does not buy an appetite for food? It is fouler and uglier to have too much than to not have enough. (Same)

*********

Every larger tree, which I knew and admired, is being culled out and carried to market. I miss them surely, and with the same feeling that I do the inhabitants out of the village street. To me they were something more than timber; to their owner not so. (Dec. 3)

*********

[It snows and then the snow turns to rain]: " ...And so the wintry landscape is postponed for the present. (Dec. 9)

*********

....a bitter, imprisoning cold. (Dec. 11)

*********

The snow will be three feet deep. the ice will be two feet thick, and, last night, perchance the mercury sank to 30 degrees below zero. All the fountains of nature seem to be sealed up. The traveler is frozen on his way. But under the edge of yonder birch wood will be a little flock of redpolls, busily feeing on the seeds of the birch, and shaking down the powdery snow! As if a flower were to be created now in bloom, a peach to be now first fully ripe on its stem. I am struck by the perfect confidence and success in nature. (Same)

*********

This winter with its snow and ice is not an evil to be corrected. It is, as it was designed and meant to be, for the artist has had leisure to add beauty to use....I had a vision thus prospectively of the birds [the crimson redpolls?] as I stood in the swamps. I saw this familiar-too familiar-fact at a different angle, and was charmed and haunted by it. I could only attain to be thrilled and enchanted, as if by the sound of a strain of music fading away. I has seen into paradisiac regions, with their air and sky, and I was no longer wholly or merely a denizen of this vulgar earth...Yet had I hardly a footnote there. I was only sure that I was charmed, and no mistake. It is only necessary to behold thus the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point a hair breath aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance. Only what we have touched and worn is trivial-our scurf, repetition, tradition, conformity. To perceive freshly with fresh senses is to be inspired. Great winter itself looked like a precious gem, reflecting rainbow colors from one angle (Same)

*********

My body is all sentient. As I go here or there, I am tickled by this or that I come in contact with, as if I touched the wires of a battery. (Same)

*********

Our slow-footed river. (Same)

*********

If any part of nature excites our pity, it is for ourselves that grieve, for there is eternal health and beauty. We get only partial and transient glimpses of the beauty of the world. Standing as the right angle we are, we are dazzled by the colors of the rainbow in colorless ice. From the right point-of view, every storm and every drop in it is a rainbow. Beauty and music are not mere traits and exceptions. The are the rule and character. It is the exception we hear and see. Then I try to discover what it was in the vision that charmed and translated me. What if we could daguerreotype. our thoughts and feelings! For I am surprised and enchanted often by some quality I cannot detect...It is a wonderful fact that I should be affected... (Same)

*********

Now, when all the fields and meadows are covered with snow, the warm colored shoots of osiers [willows] red and yellow, rising above it, remind me of flames. (Jan. 3, 1856)

*********

[Homeland Security, please take note!:] "It is astonishing to me how far a merely well-dressed and good-looking man may go without being challenged by any sentinel.: (Same)

**************************************************************

"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge.:

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

**********

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something ...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough.: -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest: -HDT

***********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

****************************************************

New l-s alumni newsletter available on new alumni page:
www.lsrhs.net/alumni

New issue soon to be posted.

********************************************************

Several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film, The Story of Trees, in the spring.

*************************************************************
*************************************************************

JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 7

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

April 2005

***********************************************************

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself: should be the motto of my journal.:
-Journal, November 11, 1851

**************************************************************

How full of creative genius is in the air in which [these snowflakes] are generated! I should hardly admire more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat. Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand. Nothing is cheap and coarse, neither dew drops nor snowflakes. (January 5, 1856)

********

A divinity must have stirred with them before the crystals did shoot and set. Wheels of the snow chariot. The same laws that shape the earth-star shapes the snow star. As surely as the petals of flowers are fixed, each of these countless snow stars come whirling to earth, pronouncing thus, with emphasis, the no. 6. (Same)

********

There they lie, like the wreck of chariot wheels after a battle in the sky. Meanwhile the meadow mouse shoves them aside in his gallery, the school boy casts them in his snowball, and the woodsmen's sleds glides smoothly over them, those glorious spangles, the sweepings of heaven's flow. (Same)

********

-16 degrees....I hear the boots of passing travellers squeak. (Jan. 9)

********

[On thinking of children trying to keep their toes warm]: "I try to realize how they panted for a breath of cool air those sultry nights last summer. Realize it now if you can. Recall the hum of mosquito. (Jan. 10)

********

The kitchen windows were magnificent last night with their frost sheaves, surpassing any cut or ground glass. (Jan 10)

********

In our workshops we pride ourselves on discovering a use for what has previously been regarded as waste, but how partial and accidental our economy when compared with Nature's. In Nature, nothing is wasted....all at last are gathered in her compost heap. (Jan. 13)

********

This is a very mild, melting winter day, but clear and bright, yet I see the blue shadows on the snow at Walden....I think I never saw a more elysian blue than my shadow. I am turned into a tall blue Persian from my cap to my boots, such as no mortal dye can produce, with an amethystine hatchet in my hand.. I am in raptures at my own shadow. What if the substance were of an ethereal nature? Our very shadows no longer black, but a celestial blue. (Jan. 19)

********

In my experience, I have found nothing so truly impoverishing as what is called wealth...If you wish to give a man a sense of poverty give him a thousand dollars. The next hundred he gets will not be worth more than ten that he used to get. Have pity on him; withhold your gifts. (Jan 20)

********

{On the death of a tree]:" I have attended the felling and, so to speak, the funeral of this old citizen--who commonly did not attend funerals--as it became me to do. I was the chief if not the only mourner there. I have taken the measure of his grandeur; have spoken a few words of eulogy at his grave....But there were only the choppers and passersby to hear me...Further the town was not represented; the fathers of the town the selectmen, the clergy were not there. But I have not known a fitter occasion for a sermon of late. Travellers whose journey was for a short time delayed by its prostrate body were forced to pay it some attention and respect, but the axe-boys had climbed upon it like ants, and commenced chipping at it before it had fairly ceased groaning....It's history extends back more than half the history of the town. Since its kindred could not conveniently attend, I attended. Methinks its fall marks an epoch in the history of the town. It has passed away together with the clergy of the old school and the stage coach which used to rattle beneath it. It's virtues was that it steadily grew and expanded from year to year to the very last. How much of the old Concord falls with it! Our town has lost some of its venerableness. No longer will our eyes rest on its massive gray trunk like a vast Corinthian column by the wayside. No longer will we walk in the shade of its lofty, spreading dome...You have laid the axe, you have made fast the tackle to one of the kingposts of the town. Is it not sacrilege to cut down the tree which so long looked over our Concord beneficently?....With what feelings should not the citizens hear that the biggest tree in town has fallen. A traveller passed through the town and saw the inhabitants cutting it up without regret.: (Jan. 22)

********

A journal is a record of experiences and growth, not a presence of things well done or said. I am occasionally reminded of a statement that I have made in conversation and immediately forgotten, which would read much better that what I put in my journal. It is a ripe, dry fruit of long-past experience which falls from me easily without giving pain or pleasure. The charm of the journal must consist in a certain greenness....Here I cannot afford to be remembering what I said or did, my scurf cast off, but what I am and aspire to become. (Jan. 24)

********

[Speaking of perhaps imperfect and controversial translations form the Sanskrit]: "...I hear only the resounding of the ancient sea and put into it all the meaning I am possessed of, the deepest murmurs I can recall, for I do not the least care when I get my ideas, or what suggests them.: (Same)

********

{Great elm trees are still in this thoughts!]: "...A fragment of their bark is worth the back of all the politicians of the union. They are free soilers in all their own broad sense....They send their roots north & south & east & west into many a conservative's Kansas and Carolina who does not suspect such underground railroads...They battle with the tempests of a century. See what scars they bear, what limbs they lost before we were born! Yet they never adjourn; they steadily vote for their principles, and send their roots further and wider....They die at their posts...They attend no caucus, they make no compromise....Their one principle is growth...They take a firmer hold on the earth that they might rise higher into the heavens...: (same)

********

[He talks about how hard it is to get a single seed from a pitch pine cone--"it will make your fingers bleed:--but how squirrels are properly "armed: for the task, and then....]: "But so is a man commonly a locked-up chest to us, to open whom, unless we have the key of sympathy, will make our hearts bleed.: (Jan. 25)

********

[Regarding a dental procedure]: " When I took the ether my consciousness amounted to this: I put my finger on myself in order the keep the place, otherwise I should have never returned to this world.:

**************************************************************

"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge.:

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

**********

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something ...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough.: -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest: -HDT

***********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net or go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

****************************************************

New l-s alumni newsletter available on new alumni page:
www.lsrhs.net/alumni

New issue soon to be posted.

********************************************************

Several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film, The Story of Trees, in the spring.

*************************************************************
*************************************************************

JOURNAL DRIPPINGS Vol. VI, No. 8

Excerpts from Thoreau's Journal.
The Adventure Continues!

May 2005

***************************************************************

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me
as my own thoughts."
-HDT

"Says I to myself: should be the motto of my journal.:
-Journal, November 11, 1851

***************************************************************

What a difference between life in the city and in the country at present,-between walking in Washington St., threading your way between countless sledges and travellers, over the discolored snow, and crossing Walden Pond, a spotless field of snow surrounded by woods, whose intensely blue shadows, and your own, are the only objects. What a solemn silence reigns here! (January 30, 1856)

**********

The old tracks are blotted out and new and fresher ones are to be discerned. It is a tabula rasa. The fresh falls of snow are like turning over a new leaf in Nature's Album.
(January 31)

**********

[A light bulb moment epiphany!] "I have always wondered how red cedars could have sprung up in some pastures which I knew to be miles distant from the nearest fruit-bearing cedar, but it now occurs to me that these and barberries, etc, may be planted by the crows, and probably other birds.: (Feb. 4)

**********

[On willows]: "How important, how rampant, how precocious these osiers!...May I ever be in as good spirits as a willow! How tenacious of life! How withy! How soon it gets over its hurts! They never despair...They are emblems of youth, joy, and everlasting life.:
(Feb. 14)

**********

Up Assabet (Feb 20)

**********

The papers are talking about the prospect of war between England and America...Both nations are ready to take a desperate step to forget the interests of civilization, Christianity, and their commercial prosperity, and fly at each other's throats. When I see an individual thus besides himself, ready to shoot or be shot, like Blackleg who has little to lose, no serene aims to accomplish, I think he is a candidate for bedlam...What asylum is there for nations to go to? (Feb 28)

**********

[On his cat ÔMin' who had finally come home. She had been given up for dead after being lost for five days in the winter]: "There is as much rejoicing as at the return of the prodigal son and if we had a fatted calf we should kill it...Meanwhile she is fed with the best the house affords, minced meats and saucers of warm milk...She already has her old place under the stove, and is preparing to make a stew of her brains there. (Same)

**********

A weight of water stored up in a meadow, applied to move a saw which scratches its way through the trees placed before it. So simple is a sawmill...The pond is like a weight wound up.: (Same)

**********

I had two friends. The one offered me friendship on such terms that I could not accept it, without a sense of degradation. He would not meet on equal terms, but only to be to some extent my patron. He would not come to see me, but was hurt if I did not visit him. He would not readily accept a favor, but would gladly confer one. (March 4)

**********

When it was proposed to me to go abroad, rub off some rust, and better my condition in a worldly sense, I feared lest my life will lose some of its homeliness. If these fields and streams and woods, the phenomena of nature here, and the simple occupations of the inhabitants should cease to interest and inspire me, no culture or wealth would atone for the loss...If Paris is much in mind, if it is more and more to you, Concord is less and less, and yet it would be a wretched bargain to accept the proud Paris in exchange for my native village...I wish to live ever as to derive my satisfactions and inspirations from the commonest events, every-day phenomena, so that what my senses hourly perceive, my daily walk, the conversation of my neighbors may inspire me, and I may dream of no heaven but that which lies about me. A man may acquire a taste for wine and brandy and so lose his love for water, but should we not pity him....The sight of a march hawk in Concord meadows means more to me than the entry of the allies into Paris...That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest. (March 11)

**********

Had a dispute with Father about the use of my making this sugar [from sap] when I knew it....might be bought cheaper at Holden's. He said it took me from my studies. I said I made it my study; I felt as if I had been to a university. (March 21)

**********

I spend a considerable portion of my time observing the habits of animals, my brute neighbors. By their various movements and migrations, they fetch the year about to me. (March 23)

**********

[On thinking of native animal species that have been exterminated]: "I am reminded that this is my life in Nature, this particular round of natural phenomena which I call a year, is lamentably incomplete. I listen to a concert in which so many parts are wanting. The whole civilized country is to some extent turned into a city, and I am that citizen whom I pity.: (Same)

***********************************************************

"His journals should not be permitted to be read by any, as I think they were not meant to be read. I alone might read them intelligently. To most others they would only give false impressions. I have never been able to understand what he meant by his life. Why did he care so much about being a writer? Why did he pay so much attention to his own thoughts? Why was he so dissatisfied with everyone else, etc? Why was he so much interested in the river and the woods and the sky, etc?

Something peculiar, I judge.:

- Ellery Channing, friend of Thoreau's

**********

"My journal should be the record of my love. I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of...I feel ripe for something ...yet can't discover what that thing is. I feel fertile merely. It is seed time with me. I have lain fallow long enough.: -HDT

**********

"Of all the strange and accountable things, this journalizing is the strangest: -HDT

**************************************************************

This project began 8 years ago, in July 1997. Since then, 3, 920 pages of Thoreau's Journal have been read and excerpted. There are 3,060 pages to go, so there's still many a saunter to share as we wend our way through the resplendent mind of Henry David Thoreau.

Volume 6 of Journal Drippings is now completed. The adventure will resume next October 1. If your email address changes, please send me your new one.

It's May. Spring is here. Time to close the books, to go outside, to look around, and to see for ourselves what the excitement is all about.

***********************************************************

If you would like a complete copy of "Journal Drippings" to date, just go to :

http://schechsplace.tripod.com/ht.htm

********************************************************

Several L-S alumni took part in a PBS film about Thoreau. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. Look for the film, The Story of Trees,
in the spring.

 

 

If you wish to get a copy of the complete "Journal Drippings" to date, just email me at bill_schechter@lsrhs.net



All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter