12.19.2009

Crossing the Pond

"It is desirable that a man be clad so simply that he can lay his hands on himself in the dark, and that he live in all respects so compactly and preparedly, that, if an enemy takes the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety." Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

A long time ago I named this blog WordMarrow--partly in reference to Thoreau's "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..." and partly in reference to my aspirations as a writer. But a bigger reason was my desire to remind myself of the important things.

When I shut off all the noise--the TV and iPod and Facebook and etc.--it's easier to accomplish goals and remember my grander purposes. it's easy to see distractions for what they are: another jacket I don't need, a bigger house just for the sake of a bigger house, a film that i don't really want to watch but do just because it's there. When I turn the noise back on, I get bogged down like the masses of men who lead "lives of quiet desperation" and start listening to the ads telling me I need things and films promising distraction and Safari an escape.

In the luxury of twenty-first century United States of America, among other things, I think we've lost the gift of silence. With the gift of silence comes refreshment and reorientation of values. With it comes the ability to think clearly and rationally. (Is it just me or is there an increase of unreasonable people in this world?)

When I crossed my own pond (a.k.a the Atlantic Ocean) and I had more time to think than I had in a long time, I was a lot better off. I was healthier, happier, and more productive. I'm slowly getting that back, and I'm determined not to lose it as life gets busier.

2 comments:

Jen Mc. said...

So true. And then one day it becomes you and your little ones and you realize these decisions are shaping their brains, hearts, souls...Jesus, take the wheel!
j. :)
ps. Merry Christmas, friend!

indygrenzy said...

I love it when I hear other people saying things that I have been thinking. This reminds me that there is a larger force in charge who is moving us all toward something new.