Feeding & reading: nuts vs apples

Feeding & reading: nuts vs apples

Thoreau’s observation on the pitfalls of eating nuts.  However, the upside, as far as I gather, is that nuts are packed with brain-food. ‘It is quite too absorbing; you can’t read at the same time, as when you are eating an apple.’ Source:...
Writing time and speeding clocks

Writing time and speeding clocks

Any absorbing activity has this magical effect of taking you almost outside of time, until you look at the clock and feel as if it’s speeded ahead. It seemed appropriate to share this after we have put the clocks forward for summer. ‘Time never passes so...
Of the unspoken

Of the unspoken

A short and thoughtful statement.  He doesn’t elaborate and it is hard to know what drew him to this conclusion.  Given how much religion is spoken, it’s an interesting comment. ‘What is religion?  That which is never spoken.’  18 August 1858  ...
Wrong by a jugful

Wrong by a jugful

A charming way to say that someone is seriously wrong – not right by a jugful.  I will try to slip this into my daily speech and see if anyone notices. ‘… he says that his account is not right by a jugful, that he does not come within half a mile of...
Studying the ways of men

Studying the ways of men

So that’s the secret of the fox’s cunning – they hide out of sight and study us!  Thoreau has dozens of these tiny observations about animals. ‘Farmer said yesterday that he thought foxes did not live so much in the depth of the woods as on...
The past as a concertina of time

The past as a concertina of time

I collect comments on and perceptions of time.  This one is striking and I am as guilty of it as anybody.  While we allow significant differences between recent centuries (the 18th century being Very Different from the 20th) we readily assume that the world of 100 AD...
That grand old poem called Winter

That grand old poem called Winter

To celebrate the winter solstice, a few crisp quotations.  I loved Thoreau’s description of winter as an epic in blank verse, and his words are themselves a grand old poem.  Enjoy. ‘That grand old poem called Winter … What a poem!  an epic in blank...
Nature like an athlete

Nature like an athlete

How wonderful to portray nature beefing herself up to wrestle with winter, stripping off all superfluity such as leaves, the better to grapple with cold and frost. ‘Nature now, like an athlete, begins to strip herself in earnest for her contest with her great...
Sign of the clime

Sign of the clime

A ready way to reckon with the weather, according to an old boy Thoreau knew.  Can’t really go wrong with this formula. Old John Nutting used to say, “when it is cold it is a sign it’s going to be warm,” and “When it’s warm...

Pin It on Pinterest