Monday, July 20, 2009

"A nobler want of man is served by nature."

I am off to a well-deserved vacation. It's been two years since I've had a proper one. I will be reading and catching up on Infinite Jest; hopefully I will return all caught up to the IS spoiler line. It's going to be difficult because I usually prefer to read Emerson when I'm out in the woods. There may be a random post from vacation if I can get one through, but don't hold your breath.

This is what I hope to experience again on this trip:

Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration.I am glad to the brink of fear. In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough , and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, -- no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, -- my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, -- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances, -- master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty.In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.


Back in 2 weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi William,

I wanted to get in touch with you, but was unable to find an email address (I guess you can feel safeguarded by both Metafilter and Blogger) and hence am forced to do something as dorky as post a comment on your blog (which after you read you are more than welcome to delete).
Anyway, your post about Wag's Revue on metafilter last spring sparked a rather hilarious few weeks of reading for us three editors of the fledgling thing, reading that was both emotional and triumphant. I wanted to let you know that thanks to all of the disparagement we received for our lack of html formatting in the comments that followed your post, we redid the site. So, I invite you to visit to read issue two, entirely in code. You might especially enjoy our second editorial statement.
Good luck with the Infinite Summer. It's a project I esteem to complete someday, like learning to dance.

Take Care,
Nonfiction Editor
Wag's Revue