Thoreau! Come back here and help hang the wash outside like your mum told you to! Huck! Remember to meditate yer two minutes! Murrow! You left the cap off your organic recyclable container toothpaste! Winnie, leave your cleats outside, they’re filthy, and you know shoes inside equals indoor air pollution, we watched the Ted Talk about that last night! Avalokiteshvara! (Loki knows she’s in trouble when I use her full name, that’s all I gotta say). Shakespeare! Get ovah heah! Ashe! Well done, as always. (Daddy plays favorites)
Yah, so I wanna name my future-hypothetical children foolish names that’d get them beat up in junior high, only they’re gonna be such Pippy Longstocking/Huckleberry/Calvin n’Hobbes-style troublemakers it’ll instead just result in predilicting them for making trouble and kissing the headmaster’s son/daughter behind the barn, repeatedly.
So, I can’t seem to get to the point…which is 10 quotes via my main man Henry David Thoreau, partially ’cause I’m leanin’ back listening to both kinds of music: Country and Western. Waylon and Willie. And Cash, and Kris. So…
I heart Thoreau ’cause HDT was a lover of and listener to Mother Nature herself. He was witty and sharp and lonely and brave and eloquent and fierce and liberal yet libertarian and studied Eastern wisdom and so no matter what, my word is law…well of course unless my future-hypothetical wife says “no”…I intend to name a child after him. Boy or girl, doesn’t matter.
Anyways. Here’s 10 quotes, chosen rather at random, with a brief line of wise commentary by this here would-be future already-is foolish dad.
So much for that one.
2. “What we call Wildness is a civilization other than our own. In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”
Children know it, and love it, and can play in that rich world all day. It’s like that documentary about the bugs, y’know?
3. “Not till we are lost…in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.”
Go be alone out in Nature, once in awhile…it’s delicious, a rare feast.
4. “What would human life be without forests, those natural cities?”
80% plus of all biodiversity takes refuge in forests. Forests are the “lungs” of our planet…and we’re burning and cutting them, fast. 98% of all toilet paper is virgin. I get handed biz cards or flyers from forward-thinking, eco-minded companies all the time that aren’t recycled.
It’s easy to love who they think we are, or the self that makes them happy. But what about just plain old “me”?
6. “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable…but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”
When you’re walking, don’t text. When you’re driving, just drive—put down the phone. When we’ve nothing to do, try keeping the TV off. Once in a long while, forget the microwave or delivery: make a good long meal, cut and dice and spice and bake and fry and do the dishes by hand.
7. “I have met with but one or two persons … who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering.”
Get a dog. Or walk a friend’s dog, they’ll appreciate the break. Practice makes perfect.
8. “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
IE, if you’re sad, or excited, or confused, or elated…see #7: go take a hike.
9. “A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.”
IE, be less vain than a servant to the greater good, willing to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
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