random particles of cross colored light
filter through the amorphous membrane
sliding their way into my conscious thought
they coerce my critical faculties
into numbness rendering
me forward in the direction of
my solace from the ivory tower
through the rust colored doors
into the kingdom of perpetual
inebriates and social smokers
yet free from the machinations of
the fraternity hucksters howling their trade
to the shallow minded and sexual deviants
i find my place, my throne at the green bottle
aged ten years, to soak my misery, my woes in
sardonic smiles and contempt
for the uninitiated.
In the early morning hours after a night of drinking and conversing with friends I cannot help but here Thompson’s voice in my head barking his truthful insane ramblings like some kind of surreal conscience. I see myself aback at the bar, starting classy then going through pitchers of beers while smoking and laughing about inane activities of everyday life. Reflecting on former campus life when I would wander outside, deep in thought allowing my mind to detect where I walk, reveling in the stillness of night as the energy of the day settled down and died. I hear the occasional faint rustle of leaves and snippets of conversation from someone’s dorm window. I will not revel in the nostalgia of the past but remember fondly with all its bloody flaws.
Oh, delightful liquid of golden brown
your drops are refreshingly strong
down the hatch with bravado and class
the fiery elemental that grows within
may I be moved to dance like Zorba the Greek
and not stagger like the frivolous Falstaff.
(It has been awhile since I last posted, that’s what happens when you are in graduate school. )
Just recently I spent a few days camping by a lake, filled with hiking, fishing and reading in a hammock. I felt that it would be quite appropriate for me to reread Thoreau’s “Walden” while I was at the lake. Now I’m sure many of you read “Walden” in high school or are at least familiar with it: Thoreau spends two years and two months living in solitude in a cabin by a lake in Concord, Mass. His experiment was one of simple living in harmony with nature. He grew his own vegetables, built his small cabin and wrote a memoir/treatise of his simple philosophy which is in part of transcendentalism.
As I was flipping the pages, I realized how much more I was enjoying it having not being forced to for class. But also, Thoreau’s observations on society are still very relevant today. He of course was looking at human nature so his writings are likely to keep remaining relevant. For Thoreau: humans should be self-sufficient, which means being able to produce one’s own food, clothing, shelter, with the idea it would lesser the impact on humanity on a whole. He has some wonderful ideas and I wandered, how does one go living as he suggested? One does that look like today? For myself, I have tried to follow some of his tenets and aspired to reach them on greater levels. For example, I have a burgeoning vegetable garden. Now of course, many people live in crowded cities where it is harder or near impossible to be able to produce one’s own food. I think it would be better if everyone were more self-sufficient but to each his own. I am saying that Thoreau is still very much relevant today and you should give it another chance.
I am one who enjoys his solitude. Nothing would give me greater pleasure then to be in a cabin amongst nature, where I can write, read and enjoy the outdoors to my hearts content. Alas, It may be awhile before this dream is realized. So then is it possible to live according to Thoreau’s tenets today with how society exists? Especially with the digital culture so prevalent? Yes. But the question is how and that is up to the individual. I have taken Walden to heart and the writings of Emerson as well. To me they are more than something I should read, they have shaped my thought and beliefs and without them I would cease to be me. So the question is then, what is your walden?
As you walk out in the world, take a moment to consider your place in humanity, enjoy the day while you can. Listen to the birds, hear the whisperings of the wind amongst the trees and grass. Take that small moment to reflect, to simply be in that moment and nothing else.