3.11.2014

and so lose his love for water
...Thoreau's Journal: 11-Mar-1856

I fear the dissipation that traveling, going into society, even the best, the enjoyment of intellectual luxuries, imply. If Paris is much in your 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 proudest Paris in exchange for my native village. At best, Paris could only be a school in which to learn to live here, a stepping-stone to Concord, as school in which to fit for this university. I wish so to live ever as to derive my satisfactions and inspirations from the commonest events, every-day phenomena, so that 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 or brandy, and so lose his love for water, but should we not pity him?

4 comments:

michael jameson said...

living in the high society of paris or london should only be done for a very short while,putting on heirs drinking fine brandy, they have forgotten if they ever knew the simple life of home and the magic of the common peoples spirit,nature is all but lost to them,it is on their plates and lapels,theirs is a world of how others see you, not as you see yourself,i hope heaven is my little cottage on the side of the hill for if it is a socialite party i do not wish to go! michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com

Meg said...

I totally see Henry's point, but I do still want to see Europe. Not to drink wine or brandy with social people, but to enjoy the places for what they are. As Robin Williams tells Will Hunting, he can describe the Sistine Chapel but he can't tell him what it smells like! That kind of thing! I can look at van Goghs online all day, but to actually see the way Vincent slapped the paint on the real canvas .... that's the reason to travel. To the source of things and not their copies or fans.

michael jameson said...

okay i will keep writing at your request,even though i have written my thoughts!. yes this is our world and our heaven!, treat it as such, as it is perfect everywhere man has not been, for he destroys his path!, i am told heaven is green fields and waterfalls with an abundance of animals!, no my friend that is earth, you live here, now shed a tear,

Quinton Blue said...

"If Paris is much in your mind" seems key here. James Joyce lived in Paris while writing "Ulysses," and his mind was in Dublin. I'm not sure the geography is an obstacle. But I think Thoreau is right that the "much in your mind" has to be the think best known-- your roots.