Wednesday, February 15, 2012



This is the handwritten text of the wonderful book by Henry David Thoreau taken at the Thoreau Institute this past summer when I was there.

This week, I am listening to the audio book as I drive to and from work. Audio books are a new experience for me because, frankly, listening to someone read makes me really sleepy. Really Sleepy. But recently, I have learned to listen and not doze off. (Really good since I am driving... don't you think??) This has added a whole new world for me and given my day that much more richness.

I have read this book no less than a half dozen times in as many years. Every time I read it, I come away more inspired and questioning my lifestyle and choices That Much More. The one thing that really has struck me this time is the awareness of what Thoreau defines as simplicity. He doesn't. Really, he doesn't. Rather, he states what it is for him and then acknowledges that everyone has their own idea of what this means. And, frankly, that this is enough.

As I have thought about this book, I have been considering my own choices and my life. I have written a number of times about how I want to simplify --- cut my attachments --- live a more concentrated life. And, I have written about how the time I spent on Walden Pond opened my eyes to what I was missing around me in my haste and hurry.

It has been very frustating to me that I keep running and running... and that life is still too busy to meet my hopes. As I have listened this week, however, it has dawned on me that simplicity doesn't happen all at once. No goal does. Not losing weight. Not saving money. Not even falling in love. Nopers. It happens with a series of single choices --- a minute, no, a second at a time. My frustration is falling away. I am proud of what has been accomplished. And, I am glad to keep taking that one step, making that one choice, until I can attain my goal.

We are all in the process of becoming, aren't we, as my friend Brenda has stated. Keeping this idea in front of me, well, gives me hope.


  1. Much to think about... Simple life is not always simple.. I haven't as of yet been able to concentrate on an audio book.. I tend to zone out no matter how interested I am.. I find my mind wandering very far!Lol

  2. Everyone's path in life is different as is everyone's perception of perfection. Isn't that wonderful? Otherwise we'd all be vying for the same things and the same jobs and the same spouses. Our life experiences have everything to do with how we see ourselves, what our goals are, and what directions we take. Isn't that a blessing?

  3. I hate to admit that I've never read Thoreau's Walden. I think I need to - soon. Your post has me thinking. Thanks!

    ps - Audio books are hard for me; I have a wandering mind. But my sister always has a book going during her daily commute. Good thing you are both excellent drivers! (-:

  4. Hi Matty, such a profound and beautiful post. Isn't that so true, we need to appreciate the moment, be proud of all our accomplishments and enjoy the journey of life! Like with any journey, in life, we may sometimes veer off track, or even get lost, but moving forward is the key. I really like what you said about simplicity. It does mean different things to different people. For me, I think simplicity and a calm heart go hand in hand. That is what I use as my measuring stick. If I am anxious and agitated or overly revved up it usually means that I am putting too much effort toward something that is too tangled and complicated and I have gotten off balance. Have a lovely evening Matty! Delisa :)

  5. Dear Matty,

    Very nice post! I've listened to Walden on tape once; I'll have to pull it out again. So true that simplifying comes one step at a time. We should spend more time focusing on what we've already done, and less than what we haven't, shouldn't we?

    May this year bring us all more peace and joy.




Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!