this date, in henry david thoreau’s journal

200px-henry_david_thoreauHenry David Thoreau kept a journal from 1837-1861. That’s from age 20 to the year before his death, pretty impressive. I’ve read excerpts of his journals, and I read Walden in high school when I went through my Transcendentalism phase. I remember enjoying it; I should read it again.

This blog has an excerpt every day, that corresponds in date. Here’s December 17, 1851:

The pitch pine woods on the right of the Corner road. A piercing cold afternoon, wading in the snow. R. Rice was going to Sudbury to put his bees into the cellar for fear they would freeze. He had a small hive; not enough to keep each other warm. The pitch pines hold the snow well. It lies now in balls on their plumes and in streaks on their branches, their low branches rising at a small angle and meeting each other. A certain dim religious light comes through this roof of pine leaves and snow. It is a sombre twilight, yet in some places the sun streams in, producing the strongest contrasts of light and shade.

I’ve kept a journal, on and off, since I was about 8. I’ve recently undergone a renewed enthusiam for it, after several years’ lapse. But my writing never even approaches this quality. Sometimes it seems like I mostly just rant about how I want to stab various people (bus drivers, students, your mom) in the face.

I need to try harder.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 17:26:10

    I need to do more too. I destroyed all of my journals from high school and college after I read through them again. I didn’t feel there was anything there I wanted posterity to read; not even my husband or stepdaughter. But I’d like to start again. I still don’t know if I *ever* want anyone else reading them and I kinda get hung up on that.

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