Thoreau's Journal: 11-Feb-1859

Nature works by contraries. That which in summer was most fluid and unresting is now most solid and motionless. If in the summer you cast a twig into the stream it instantly moved along with the current, and nothing remained as it was. Now I see yonder a long row of black-twigs standing erect in mid-channel where two months ago a fisherman set them and fastened his lines to them. They stand there motionless as guide-posts while snow and ice are piled up about them.

Such is the cold skill of the artist. He carves a statue out of a material which is fluid as water to the ordinary workman. His sentiments are a quarry which he works.


Cathy said...

Ah, Mr. Thoreau, it took me a few moments to grasp the metaphor. I'm afraid I was a bit literal and was struggling with metamorphic rocks in their original liquidity, pliant to the stonemason. It just didn't work.

It's the wordsmith - not the stonemason, I see. More coffee on order.

Check out pictorial evidence of water's spring reversal at: http://lookingup1.blogspot.com/

idi said...

I feel cold while reading this
but you are right
a simple thing and in another season it's a work of art