Saturday, July 29, 2006

from Thoreau

We can only live healthily the life the gods assign us. I must receive my life as passively as the willow leaf that flutters over the brook. I must not be for myself, but God's work, and that is always good. I will wait the breezes patiently, and grow as they shall determine. My fate cannot but be grand so. We may live the life of a plant or animal without living an animal life. This constant and universal content of the animal comes of resting quietly in God's palm. I feel as if I could at any time resign my life and the responsibility into God's hands and become as innocent and free from care as a plant or a stone.

The great God is very calm withal. How superfluous is any excitement in His creatures! He listens equally to the prayers of the believer and unbeliever. The moods of man should unfold and alternate as gradually as those of nature. The sun shines for aye! The sudden revolution of these times and this generation have acquired a very exaggerated importance. They do not interest me much, for they are not in harmony with the longer periods of nature. The present, in any aspect in which it can be presented to the smallest audience, is always mean. God does not sympathize with the popular movements.

I delight to come to my bearings-not walk in procession with pomp and parade, in a conspicuous place, but to walk even with the Builder of the universe, if I may-not to live in this restless, nervous, bustling, trivial Nineteenth Century, but stand or sit thoughtfully while it goes by.

Next to us the grandest laws are being enacted and administered. Neext to us in not the workman whom we have hired, but ever the workman whose work we are. He is at work, not in my backyward, but inconceivably nearer than that. We are the subjects of an experiment how singular? Can we not dispense with the society of our gossips a little while under these circumstances?

My desire for knowledge is intermittent; but my desire to commune with the spirit of the universe, to be intoxicated with the fumes, call it, of the divine nectar, to bear my head through atmospheres and over heights unknown to my feet, is perennial and constant.

No comments: