Monday, December 4, 2006

I went that I could live deliberately.


Seated by the shore of a small pond, Thoreau--Emmerson's contemporary--took up his abode in a log cabin amidst the tall pines of the New England forest. He lived for two years, from 1845 to 1847, in an area just south of Concord, Massachusetts in order to withdraw from society and its obligations.

During that time, he used nature as his inspiration to "rift" his way "into the secret of things" (68). Each morning, he awoke to greet the dawn with a renewing bath in the waters of Walden Pond. He watched the sun rise, "throwing off" the "nightly clothing of mist," to reveal the soft ripples of the water that reflectled the light of that "divining rod" in the dome of the great sky.

Thoreau's surroundings were "pasture enough for [his] imagination" (61).

That said:

What is pasture enough for your imagination? Where would you go to live deliberately, as Thoreau did? Would this place of refuge be one of solitude? Or would you have company? What would you do with your time in such surroundings? What would you take with you, if anything? What would be your dwelling place?

Be sure to use metaphor in describing your surroundings. For instance, if you describe the ocean's waves, how is it that they crash? Do they lay like blankets upon the soft bed of the shore? Or the trees of the forest: Does the sun's light pour through branches like droplets of rain from the roof of a house?

Where would you go to live deliberately?



Rob Peach said...

As the monks recite their evensong in the chapel up the road, I offer my tribute to twilight with a brisk walk through the fields. Now bare in the winter of another year, they humbly await the dawn's coming in a new season of life. Around these brown fields of decayed stalks, the world buzzes like a bee at work. But I am alone, and yet not alone. God speaks in the silence of the abandoned siloe that once held freshest grains--wheat to feed the masses that go unaware of this place beneath the mountains. I am a monk and the farmland is my chapel; the river below a harp to sing God's praise in gurgling. And as the red fades to black on the blue horizon, the twilight beckons my softest song, a sigh. On the grounds of this monastery, the Spirit moves in the priests who till its soil. Though they toil not, taking from the land only enough food to offer thanksgiving. And so from them I learn what it means to live deliberately, to walk in the quiet of an Advent evening on property whose namesake is the Holy Ghost.

Pat Monteith said...

My place of refuge would be deep in a forrest. The time of day would be high noon, when the trees block most of the sun, yet still rays of light find its way through the leaves barriers. I would be sitting on a log or a big rock by a river. With me, would be someone who i strongly care about. That person is there for me to talk to and is there for me to think outloud, express my opinions and hear their criticism. This for me would be bliss, because i am already in a place where nothing can go wrong, and best of all i have someone by my side. This is the place of my refuge.

Eddy said...

My place of refuge is on top of a mountain. On my mountain there is a big flat rock at the top surrounded by huge pine trees. Along with that there is class five rapids at the bottom of my mountain. I wouldn't need any company, except the occasional bear that wanders by. I have never actually been to this place, though I have been very close, but when I'm not there in real life, I go to it inside my own mind.

Eddy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom Shiels said...

My place of refuge would be in a rain forest in South America right by a waterfall. I would live hear because of the calming sound of the water rushing about behind me. My home would be maybe a little hut if needed because the canopy of e forest would cover me like the roof over my head now, and is as protective of the sun as the walls surrounding me. I would bring with me my 3 best friends with me to experience my peacefulness and to keep me from going crazy. This place would give me and them time to reflect and plenty of time for fun messing around in the waterfall and river, as well as with the local wildlife such as birds or monkeys, or whatever else wants to be there.

MC-Devitt said...

The place that I go when I need to think and relax is Lake Roger. Lake Roger is an isolated Lake in the middle of miles of woods on top of a mountain. Here, at night the sky is lit up with countless stars and you almost are reunited with nature. You can hear the orchestra of crickets singing their song, can see the occasional dear or bear coming to the lakeside for a drink or a bath. During the day you can either explore out on the lake or wander off into the forest. In the morning, since it is rather cold in the mountains, fog rises up off of the lake and creates a mystifying sight when the sun hits it. One can almost forget about the busy, fast moving world and just relax and soak in the blessings on nature. With the silence that one finds in nature, one can think straight, without any interruptions or distractions. It is in the silence of the mind that we make some of the greatest discoveries of life. One realizes why there has to be a God when one is all alone amidst nature at is purest.
All one needs to live in such a place is a simple tool such as a saw or a knife. With such, one can create his shelter, create ones fires, and really get to know what “living off of the land” means. One gets to know what the true nature of a human is when one is living as the original humans, without technology, without education, without anything but basic needs. You live to need and you need to live.
I would live alone. One thinks better when one has no distractions. No one to worry about but yourself. No one to give advice; forcing you to live out all of your decisions, making you ever wiser.

Rob Gill said...

My place of refuge would be Newport Beach in California. I spent a month in Newport Beach, California and i had my chances to just sit and reminisce about the highs and lows of my life. It was also one of my greatest all time vacations. Some of the surroundings I enjoyed were the ocean and its waves rolling and crashing right infront of me, like a bowling ball rolling down the lane and crashing into the pins. Also the landscape with the beautiful trees and animals in and out of the ocean. My feet were surounded by the most beautiful whiteish brown sand that was as smooth as a babys bottom. Things and people to join me at my place of solitude would be my dog, basil, a couple of friends that I could see myself living with, and I would bring the relaxing music of a couple of my favored bands,like O.A.R., DMB,a reunited Dispatch, and Jack Johnson. At this point all their is to do is make a fire and just jam and chill out. That is my place of refuge or solitude would be like

Gianni Campellone said...

When reading over these questions I was surprised how similar they were to what I`ve thought of befor.My place of refuge or as I like to call it my private oasis is located in pennypack park about 10 to 15 minutes from my house. It is located off the main road. It is a pond with a stream leading to the river. the outskirts of this stream are a beach. all of this is surrounded by tall trees who`s branches extend like fingers to the waters surface as if to get a drink.If I were to live deliberately such as Thoreau this would be the place as amatter of fact this past summer a friend and I built a fort on the beach out of rocks and cement and a month ago we finished puting a log roof on.If I were to live there I would never go board there are all ways tons of animals to catch and look for such as; snakes, fish,frogs,raccons,etc.The only thing I would bring if I were to live there would be a fishing rod to catch my meals.As I mentioned this is a hidden oasis nobody can see it on the outside but you can see things from within the oasis this provides me with a sense of security.In conclusion this oasis may look ugly in the winter ,but just watch till spring and summer comes around then it`s one of the most amazing on earth.With the trees in full bloom it`s like a feild of green in the air and on the ground. The flowers will be in bloom and with a cool breeze on can smell that attractive fragrance.And as you look up at the marone evening sky while besides you spring peepers call to each other you know this is where you want to be.

p.drisk said...

I feel that Eddy’s post was very moving, I can relate to his place of refuge on the top of the mountain with the water flowing. As for my choice of shelter I would prefer to be right on the beach where it’s sunny and warm 24/7 three hundred six four days a year. I would like to live in a small hut or shack with very little or no electrical appliances. This hut would be located some where on the sandy beaches on Costa Rica. From my hut I would look out onto the ocean where the water is glistening from the sun like a light on tinfoil. I would like to bring my surfboard, some girls, and friends to share the experience with. The ocean temperature is warm with nice size waves peeling perfectly coming in one after another. Here at this place I would achieve a sense of paradise.

Matt Engle said...

If I were to live in a place of soltitude deliberatley it would be on a deserted island. It would be a hot tropical climate with very hot days and similar nights. The sun would constantly be shinig down upon the island and the stars of the night would be huge. It woyld be a tiny island off the charts of any maps made. I would probably take food, water, notebooks and spare clothes. I would most likely want to dwell in a small hut that would keep me warm and keep the elements out. No, I would not have any companies because I am on a deserted island with no one around. This is what I think of when I think of a place of soltitude.

Sean Gillespie said...

In order to best live deliberately I would chose to travel to the beach. My family currently owns a house at the beach and it is my favorite place to go during the summer. The beach provides a place for me to relax and to enjoy both my family and girls. When I arrive at the beach I get a greater appreciation for the life that I am able to live and the blessings that are bestowed upon me. The gentle waves put me at peace and allow to time to reflect on life and all that I have been given. The calm wind brushes my face like a slipper in the evening dusk as a lay down to bed. At the beach I would live in my family's home, a very peaceful and comfortable home. In my ideal trip I would bring girls, a soccer ball and friends because they allow me to feel comfort.

Bob Kelly said...

My place of refuge where i could live deliberatley would be on some tropical island, probably like Fiji or Hawaii. There would be constant sunshine, without a cloud in the sky, and the soothing sounds of light waves gently crasihng onto the beach. I believe that this type of environment would be very good for reflection and relaxation. I would live in some type of hut surrounded by palm trees softly blowing in the wind. If I took anything with me, I would most likely take some extra food and water, and some paper and a pen so I could write and reflect on my daily life. I would take a few of my closest friends and my family with me to my island. I would have some complaints however, just becuase I think that after a while, the island would start to get boring.

Chris Thiers said...

I have two places of refuge for different seasons. In the summertime, I like to mountain-bike around Langhorne and Core Creek Park and find new paths to explore and take. When I bike through the forest, I observe the beauty of nature that would not be seen by the surronding neighborhoods outside of the forest. In the morning and afternoon, the sun shines down in golden rays from the tall trees as if from heaven and hits the stream, plants, and rocks. The combination of its beauty and the fact that it has a constant downhill slope, sharp turns, and jumps perfect for mountain bike racing with my friends make it my place of fun, refuge, and an excellant racing course.
My other place of refuge would be the Schukyll River. When I went crew practices last year in the spring at 6 am on Saturday mornings, the water would be as smooth as glass and and covered in a fine mist with the horizon a reddish-orangish about to reveal the sun. Then at about 9-10 am, all the trash and geese crap would come floating down the river after rainstorms.

Matt Schluckebier said...

My place of rufuge would be in Sedona, Arizona. Two summers ago my family took a vacation there and it was great. The surroundings were so calm and peaceful and the views were amazing. It is so calm there, I didn't have to worry about anything. It is alsways sunny there and the sky is extremely blue. The only things that I would bring would be family, friends, and only the necesary supplies. This would be a great place to live.

Bill Franks said...

My place of refuge would be an island in the Pacific Ocean where I could watch the clouds float by like ducks in a pond during the day and the stars twinkle like a million tiny eyes during the night. It would be a place that would never rain but the trees of a forest would always be as green as they are in the spring. i would live in a hut on the edge of the beach and would only bring my ipod so that i could listen to great music all the time. I would only bring someone with me if they could just sit and appreciate the solitude of nature and just drink it all in through the silence.

Tom O'Neill said...

I guess I'd choose as a place of refuge a desert in the USA. I would choose the desert because no one wants to go into a desert, and it is hot during the day and cool at night, just the way I like it. It would have the sandy dunes all over it and maybe a cliff. I could explore these horrible but also beautiful surroundings and see the life and death in the desert. I don't think I'd have company because they wouldn't really have quite an understanding of the desert like I'd want to get. I'd probably bring some things, but I'm not sure what. Probably a shovel to dig for water. I think if it were possible I'd live in a cave on the side of the cliff, if there was one, just like the Indians used to do.

B-Hilz said...

My place of refuge would be the Jersey shore. Although I would choose the river as Chris said in his comment because I can share the experience being on the river early in the morning during crew season watching the sun rise over the city.
My entire family has been goin to the shore since I was one. Every summer my family along with my aunt , uncle, and cousins rent a house for two weeks with a great view of the smooth as glass bay or a view of the waves like ever moving tunnels. I would live in any house with a view of the ocean and would bring the necassary things. Food,water,clothes,and forms of entertainment. I always find it peaceful walking in the beach early in the morning and around town late at night. I think I would bring my family. I find it most peaceful very late at night sitting on the deck listening to the waves crash only a short distance away.

Phil said...

i wish i could go,
somewhere faraway,
an island in the Caribbean,
where i could stay,
the sun would be eternal,
and breeze would be steady,
the sea would be calm,
and i would bring my teddy,
the sand would be clean and white,
like the inside of a coconut,
the sand would also be soft,
so i could plant my butt,
fruit would be plentiful,
and falling down around me,
i would take a bite of mango,
and squeal with glee,
every night id start a fire,
around which id dance,
and because no one will be around,
i wont wear any pants,
literally through off the nightly clothing.

Alex Drost said...

I would live in at my old house in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. With all the great places around the world you are probibally wondering "Why New Jersey?" Well, i lived in hunterdon County when i was youg and i absolutely loved the place. our neighborhood was surrounded by forests that seemed to me to strech on forever. the trees were present in an ungodly number but were plesant and peaceful. This place is a peaceful equiblirium between my two favorite places; Long Beach island at the New Jersey Shore and the Mountains. I love the summer and the winter but most places described by people focus on only one climate. In New Jersey i recieve the best of both worlds with lots of Snow in the Winter and blazing Sunshine in the Summer. At my house, i would dwell on the Gazebo built on the side of the house, it is a peaceful place where one can rest. I would bring along my family and friends to Hunterdon County. i love my family and thats who i lived with during my years there, and my friends would keep me company when i needed to escape the family. If i could take anything with me it would be some food, because i would get hungry. Thsi place would not be in solitude becasue of the great neighbors i had there, some of which still live there today. If i could go anywhere to live deliberately, i would go back to Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Mike McKibbin said...

The ideal place for me to deliberately live and experience nature would be on on an untouched tropical island free of the disturbances of society. In order to be "pasture enough for my imagination," It would have to be a place of solitude. The ocean would be a deep, clear blue, turning into the constant sound of waves crashing against the pristine beach. I would live in a simple hut as not to preoccupy myself and detract from the nature surrounding me. I would only bring enough to sustain myself on the island. This island would be an ideal place to foster imagination and for me to live deliberately.

Rlonergan said...

Living deliberately can be described as living to a point where humanity is stripped down to its bare minimum. However, in my opinion, the bare minimum of humanity cannot be lived deliberately due to humanity's nature and the requirements of the minimum of humanity.

A human's instincts, upbringing, and everything about humans makes them not a sequestered creature, a creature that depends on others and cannot live alone. To strip a human of other humans is to strip the human of its humanity, going below deliberate living.

So in that regard, I believe that living deliberately can be accomplished in society with many other members. My company would be the rest of the world, and my dwelling place would be the world, not just some cabin on the outskirts of civilization. I would keep everything, as these are things that humanity has developed for a reason and depravity is not deliberation. Living without a computer will not attune me to humanity, as living without people will not attune me to culture.

My time would be spent as it is now, and my general life would remain the same, for I find refuge in my current life, and changing that life drastically, to live "deliberately" may even cause me to feel less secure, hardly a refuge.

My refuge is the exact opposite - everywhere, everyone, and everything

Rob Peach said...

Tom Rose said...

In order to live deliberately, I would go to St. John's in the Virgin Islands. It's a small, "chill" island where the water is clear and everything's very laid back. I'd live in a small sea-side cottage nestled away in the mountians where all I can see is the ocean and trees and nothing relatively "modern" to obstruct my view of this beauty. The only things that I would bring would be my guitar and a notebook so I could write songs about the scenery and songs about life in general. It'd be a great place to think and ponder life's deepest secrets. The only commpany that I would have would be my girlfiend at that current time, or posibly my best friend at the current time to keep me sane. Every morning, I'd eat a small organic breakfast on the beach and let the ocean cool my feet from the hot sand. I'd watch gthe sunset from theh top of the mountain in the afternoon.