Today the world is as globalized as it could be - - yet we struggle to find meaning in our daily existence.

14 December 2010

Musing at Walden's pond

With the onslaught of the freezing winter, I've resorted to staying indoors and keeping myself busy through reading (we'll not completely). At the moment, I'm [still] reading Henry David Thoreau's Walden; or, Life in the Woods, attempting to dissect his moral and existential verbiage through his experiences out in the woods, away from civilization and society, living in a log cabin built with his own hands & farming purely off what the land had offered him, without a brute neighbor hammering away at his front porch. It is dense (albeit not as incomprehensible as the Republic by Plato), requiring me to read the same page multiple times, then having to go back a few pages to grasp the obviousness of the oblivious. One of his longer sentences was composed of 78 words. It wouldn't hurt to read his syntax thoroughly. As he implores, clearly, for us to follow him "into the woods," even I find it rather difficult to fathom such a life of solitude and simplicity.

I mean the longest I've been away from any remote elements of a civilization (developed, & third-world) was when I backpacked up the Pacific Coastline for 5 days by Humboldt County (CA) with good company. Nonetheless, it had never occurred to me that building a log cabin deep in our National parks and straying away from the sophistications of a civilized society (for years) was a feasible and attainable purpose in one's life. Don't get me wrong, I love everything that nature offers; unfortunate that even man's technology today cannot precisely replicate the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feels, and heck even the organic tastes of the outdoors. Rather it is something almost inadvertently neglected in our generation today. Instead we are the harbingers of destruction. Even then how would I survive out in Redwoods, without a hunting apparatus, a solid lodge, nor a sound knowledge of farming and agriculture - (except as a prerequisite that) - it would behoove you to have good soil, healthy seeds, an efficient irrigation system, compliant weather, and of course, the minimum requirement that you reap what you sow.

Instead, we tend our virtual gardens through such social media sites, complaining about minute tribulations of life, throwing in some facetious status about this & that, & playing our parts in this masquerade. Don't worry, you're not alone (though you still look good in that floral-print dress). It would be blasphemous to deny my involvement! Moving right along.

I've currently finished reading a section titled "Higher Laws" (within Walden). At the beginning of the passage, Thoreau is suddenly attracted to the idea of eating a passing woodchuck raw. The wanton, primitive, and carnivorous inner being in him, fiending to jump out. The innate animalistic conscious within us all, and the dualism of nature. Taking this passage into context (which was written about ~150 years ago), he makes a comparison of hunting to the beginning stages of man's right of passage, & how the hunters were once regarded as the "best men" of their time. But, that when the hunter finds the "better life in him," he would be able to "leave the gun and fish-pole behind." The search for divinity, and/or spirituality through simplicity. Can you imagine going out into the woods with a crossbow and hunting for your dinner? I can't. Plus, I think he leans towards vegetarianism, because he makes a point of how the fish aren't necessarily "clean, nor filling," with the bonus kicker being that if you stop eating other animals you've transcended, or become superior to, those that do. I don't know about you Thoreau, but I absolutely love Korean bbq, and seafood (especially 회/raw rish/sashimi/膾) WHAT I'D DO FOR SOME HAMACHI RIGHT NOW, KOREA HOOK IT UP!!!!!!!! Thoreau, your Transcendentalism won't stop me from delicious eats!

Anyways (at least for now).

This roll is a compilation of a few random events from the past two weeks: really (really, really) the final shot of the autumn, being a sucker for whitish/blonde asian women in magazine spreads alongside mexican food, random street photography, capturing intimate bookstore moments, delicious eats, a beautiful mother and daughter, some random subway photography, flea market hustlers [(side note): The flea market's here get straight ridiculous. I mean it must have been like 1 or 2 degree celsius outside, yet the masses looking for cheap finds (err.. 'one man's trash is another's treasure' applicable here) made their presence known], analog murders (via 12fv), more eats, coffee shop shenanigans, and even more delicious eats and coffee shop shenanigans (21 photos).

FE2 R17-2Beautiful woman + Tomatillo burrito = :DFE2 R17-6Korean pasttimeFE2 R17-7Rogue Rouge ReaderD A N K L E SSophia & AmberSo...Jungle and JamieFE2 R17-16ExchangesGive me your best bargain.FE2 R17-22RIP ANALOGCasettesPurple ladyJamie & ChristineCoffee and CrosswordsEel meDelivery

What a random set.

"All that he could think of was to practise some new austerity, to let his mind descend into his body and redeem it, and treat himself with ever increasing respect."



Elysabeth said...

WHERE did you get that Mexican food?? The paper says "Tomatillo" that the name of the place? Obviously, I'm craving a little Mexican spice in my life...

As always, I enjoyed your post. I, too, have resorted to staying indoors and reading. I'm revisiting one of my classic favorites The Great Gatsby. And it's interesting because as I get older, the narrative gets darker. Interesting how that works, huh?

I'm sorry about the falling through of our wine-n-cheese night...perhaps after Christmas? If the cheese is still good? :/

Anyway, hope to see you soon. Take care!

jamie said...

What exactly is it with the elerly & the trend for purple hair? I'm curious to know if its some kind of secret group Id want to join when I become older.

I remember reading & analyzing Walden back at UCI and reading it multiple times is definitely a must. After reading your post, I might have to revisit it sometime in the near future.

Hope you're staying warm Phil!

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