8.23.2004

Thoreau's Journal: 23-Aug-1853

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines. In August live on berries, not dried meats and pemmican, as if you were on shipboard making your way through a waste ocean, or in a northern desert. Be blown on by all the winds. Open all your pores and bathe in all the tides of Nature, in all her streams and oceans, at all seasons. Miasma and infection are from within, not without. The invalid, brought to the brink of the grave by an unnatural life, instead of imbibing only the great influence that Nature is, drinks only the tea made of a particular herb, while he still continues his unnatural life,—saves at the spile and wastes at the bung. He does not love Nature or his life, and so sickens and dies, and no doctor can cure him. Grow green with spring, yellow and ripe with autumn. Drink of each seasons influence as a vial, a true panacea of all remedies mixed for your especial use. The vials of summer never made a man sick, but those which he stored in his cellar. Drink the wines, not of your bottling, but of Nature’s bottling; not kept in goat-skins or pig-skins, but the skins of a myriad fair berries. Let nature do your bottling and your pickling and preserving. For all Nature is doing her best each moment to make us well. She exists for no other end. Do not resist her. With the least inclination to be well, we should not be sick. Men have discovered—or think they have discovered—the salutariness of a few wild things only, and not of all nature. Why, “nature” is but another name for health, and the seasons are but different states of health. Some men think that they are not well in spring, or summer, or autumn, or winter; it is only because they are not well in them.

5 comments:

Whiskee River said...

bravo

Link said...

Lovely blog, great idea. I started reading Walden three days ago and have barely had my head out of it. I feel vindicated. Do you know his D.O.B.? Cheers!

Greg said...

Thanks. Thoreau was born July 12, 1817.

Greg said...

Thanks. Thoreau was born July 12, 1817.

Jack Saturday said...

Greg and others:

This entry is telling and tragic (or not, depending on your cosmic politics). My friend Lucy, with flaming red-orange hair, died of cancer a couple of weeks ago at 44--same age as Thoreau died. Jenny said to me on the phone: "It's hard to accept that you can live well and right and still be taken too young." But we all have strong feelings, if not opinions, on this matter. How was it that George Bush lived longer than Henry Thoreau, whose writing was so full of robust health? “He does not love Nature or his life, and so sickens and dies, and no doctor can cure him.” But it happened to him.

Some might suggest his “living on berries” in August may have affected a delicate blood-sugar condition. Others, such as Gopi Krishna, say that all geniuses have awakened kundalini, one result of which is extremely delicate sensitvity to foods. Others might say his rejection of crying (a biological process that produces an antibiotic fluid and balances the brain-chemistry) thwarted nature’s healthy process--he preferred his poetical association of crying with a nay-saying philosophy such that he neglected to observe that nature, in the form of babies, are rich in this natural process of toxin-discharge. One wonders.