Last Friday night Tandra and I went to Borders. We wandered around and looked at books about photography, home improvement, philosophy, all kinds of things. We didn't have the money to make any purchases, but spent a fair amount of time sitting and reading. We got inspired looking at the home improvement books and went to Home Depot to get some paint samples. We're going to have to pull down the paneling and put up drywall before painting, though. I'm thinking that sounds like a good Spring project.
But that's not what I meant to be writing about. One of the books I picked up was a book about Walden Pond. It was a beautiful coffee-table style book filled with photographs of Walden Pond and the surrounding area in Emerson's forest combined with excerpts from Walden. Thoreau quotes, which I love. Looking at those photographs and reading his writing makes me wonder about that life. That life that doesn't exist for me, except in my curiosity. That life of appreciating nature and simplicity. Don't get me wrong, I see beauty in the urban landscape as well. Maybe I'm just conditioned to it now though. The grass is always greener... well, ok, not in this case, but you know what I mean.
It's the difference between a bustling, running, stressing, worrying, hurrying lifestyle and a slower-paced life. One where you have time to slow down and observe. It makes me wonder if by living my life, I'm missing my life. Everything's going by so fast. I wonder if I'm going to be old and creaky and think back to this time, and it's just going to be a big whoosh. Maybe not. There are so many things in my life that I cherish; I'm very lucky. But I wonder if I could take the things that mean the most to me and go somewhere slower. I've always loved the city. I've always thought that I'm a city boy at heart, but then Thoreau gets me wondering. It appeals to me on such a basic level, a level where I know instinctively that he speaks the truth. It makes me wonder if underneath my city-boy heart, there is another heart, aching to get back to nature and to simplify. It's hard to even imagine denying myself all the extras I've grown accustomed to living with.
Anyhow, there is another person whose writing and photography remind me of that Thoreau book. His LJ is edbook and I highly recommend you check it out. A few of his more recent posts (ones I have really enjoyed) have been friends-only, but if you add him he'll add you back, especially if you ask him to. It's worth the effort; his imagery is amazing and his writing, while not filled with poetry and prose and probably not as eloquent as Thoreau, still fills me with a feeling of familiar comfort and peace, like taking a vacation at your grandparents' house in the country. His stories have this way of making me feel like everything is all right. Like maybe this part of my life is supposed to be fast-paced. I'm young, I can handle it. I have a young family, I'm trying to get established. Maybe in a few years things will slow down and I will have the opportunities to appreciate the things that are truly worth appreciating.