“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
This quote, and the book itself, was a huge influence on me – even before I knew of its existence. I was traveling down a similar thought pattern as Henry was; wanting a different way of life – an easier, more thoughtful way of life. Thankfully, while listening to a interview with John Taylor Gatto, he mentioned this book and I fell in love.
It’s quite funny; others laugh because they don’t understand when I say I wouldn’t mind living without electricity, indoor plumbing, and all the other simple pleasures we take for granted on a daily basis. “That has to be the strangest thing I have heard coming from a tech guy before,” is the typical response I get.
Hopefully, someday, I can acquire a piece of land and build a small shelter and experience the simple life just as Thoreau did. If anything, it would be a nice little summer get-a-way.
This is a good follow-up to my last post about Being Thankful. This would be one of those situations where this way-of-life changes one’s perspective; building an appreciation for the things our ancestors couldn’t fathom having come easy… such as a “clean” glass of water right from within the comforts of your home. In the future, I will talk about my experience WWOOFing, and how that was the catalysis which changed my life… at least, it was the final