Thursday, 22 April 2010

When life gets wavy

I've ordered a copy of 'Walden and Other Writings' by Henry David Thoreau. The most inspiring quote I've heard is one of his: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined." It reminds me of what's important and what I'd like to achieve when life gets wavy.
I'm looking forward to learning more about the man described as a philosopher, naturalist and abolitionist, particularly the period when he decided to remove himself from every day Massachusetts life, and live alone in a forest cabin. He embarked upon a spritual quest, living simply, to avoid the materialistic lifestyle he did not desire, and to gain quietude in which he could write.

Thoreau's pursuit reminds me of Christopher McCandless' story. The subject of  film 'Into the Wild', he journied into the Alaskan wilderness to escape the oppression of his status driven parents and a grasping society. McCandless donated the last $24,000 of his college fund to Oxfam before travelling under the self-adopted name Alexander Supertramp. (There's a link to Welsh author W.H. Davies here fact fans, who wrote the 1908 book Autobiography of a Supertramp. Yep, I found that on Wikipedia.) Coupled with a totally fantastic soundtrack, I find the film another huge source of inspiration, and 'aide memoire' to keep things simple.

Simplicity can be hard to achieve in a society of careers, tooth whitening treatments, executive barratt homes, and breast implants. But if the should-wants could be rejected for the truly-wants I think a lot of people would be happier. I've no plans to follow Thoreau and McCandless into the wild just yet but I do embrace regular refreshers of their philosophies on life and try to apply them in my own, less cold, with food other than berries kind of way. I just hope the word spreads before all girls turn orange and barratt homes take over the world.

1 comment:

  1. I've been reading lots of good material in the form of graphic novel recently!!

    Incognito and I Kill Giants just being some of them!!

    Read them or else!!

    (else being I'll get Jenny onto you!!!)