Thoreau's Journal: 29-Apr-1856

Do not sail well till I reach Dove Rock, then glide swiftly up the stream. I move upward against the current with a moderate but fair wind, the waves somewhat larger, probably because the wind contends with the current. The sun is in my face, and the waves look particularly lively and sparkling. I can steer and write at the same time. They gurgle under my stern, in haste to fill the hollow which I have created. The waves seem to leap and roll like porpoises, with a slight surging sound when their crests break, and I feel an agreeable sense that I am swiftly gliding over and through them, bound on my own errands, while their motion is chiefly but an undulation, and an apparent one. It is pleasant, exhilarating, to feel the boat tossed up a little by them from time to time. Perhaps a wine-drinker would say it was like the effect of wine.


donw said...

Thoreau on the water with his field notebook out. What a creative writer of the natural! Thanks Greg for going to the effort of posting Henry. You are inspiring me to bookmark my copies of his journals by day and season. On those few times on the weekend when the entries are a bit late I can go and find my own. I also enjoy grapez. Welcome Son Rivers!

Jack Saturday said...

I can't help relating Henry with Tom Bombadil, the Walden woods with Tolkien's Old Forest. The part from The Fellowship Of The Ring, "In The House Of Tom Bombadil" (a vital organ of that story cut out by the movie-makers)is a mythic apotheosis of Henry himself.

The old year was turning brown; the West Wind was calling;
Tom caught a beechen leaf in the Forest falling.
"I've caught a happy day blown me by the breezes!
Why wait till morrow-year? I'll take it when me pleases.
This day I'll mend my boat and journey as it chances
west down the withy-stream, following my fancies!"