in the germ
...Thoreau's Journal: 19-July-1851

Here I am thirty-four years old, and yet my life is almost wholly unexpanded. How much is in the germ! There is such an interval between my ideal and the actual in my instances that I may say I am unborn. There is the instinct for society, but no society. Life is not long enough for one success. Within another thirty-four years that miracle can hardly take place. Methinks my seasons revolve more slowly than those of nature; I am differently timed. I am contented. This rapid revolution of nature, even of nature in me, why should it hurry me? Let a man step to the music which he hears, however measured. Is it important that I should mature as soon as an apple tree? aye, as soon as an oak? May not my life in nature, in proportion as it is supernatural, be only the spring and infantile portion of my spirit’s life? Shall I turn spring to summer? May I not sacrifice a hasty and petty completeness here to entireness there? If my curve is large, why bend it to a smaller circle? My spirit’s unfolding observes not the pace of nature. The society which I was made for is not here. Shall I, then, substitute for the anticipation of that this poor reality? I would [rather] have the unmixed expectation of that than this reality. If life is a waiting, so be it. I will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality. What were any reality which I can substitute? Shall I with pains erect a heaven of blue glass over myself, though when it is done I shall be sure to gaze still on the true ethereal heaven far above, as if the former were not,—that still distant sky o’er-arching that blue expressive eye of heaven? I am enamored of the blue-eyed arch of heaven.

I did not make this demand for a more thorough sympathy. This is not my idiosyncrasy or disease. He that made the demand will answer the demand.

My blood flows as slowly as the waves of my native Musketaquid; yet they reach the ocean sooner, perchance, than those of the Nashua.

Already the goldenrod is budded, but I can make no haste for that.


michael jameson said...

these are the questions that have plagued mankind as long as we can remember! everything dies if it has been alive! no one knows how much time they have but very few live past 110! when people die, since none have come back we make up all kinds of things that happen to us afterwords! it makes dieing easier for us!, and its the one thing we dont need proof for!?,. any more of my thoughts are on my site! i prefer to talk about the living?. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com

Unknown said...

Everything matures according to its own nature except for us. Our pace is not slower than nature, but faster even than our own nature. What if you haven't learned what you need to know in high school, in four years of college, or when you get some advanced degree? You can still learn. The bud will open when it is ready; not when you turn twenty one. Success is what others say about you, not what you are.

R.B. said...

Since it just a couple weeks until my 34th birthday I find this post to be particularly interesting. Time moves so fast and there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. It is a little overwhelming at times.