In which our hero labors to find meaningful tension in the life and work of Henry David Thoreau
Beautiful pics, John. I forgot you grew up nearby. I did as well. I've logged many miles around and in (across) and still find it sublime. As such, it's sad that Thoreau, like so many, thought he could sunder, without consequence, the beauty of such from the glory of its Creator and the worship He deserves. It's the very trap that the Apostle Paul leads with in his epistle to the Romans. "...that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
Look forward to your interpretations.
I was vagely aware of the critiques and got a real earful about Thoreau "the handyman" when Gwen and I toured the "Old Manse' in Concord. If our guide was representative, his memory in Concord is not necessarily a fond one. Our guide seemed neutral on Emerson, too. Over exposure like you were subject, too?
I keep a copy of Walden handy so I can return to certain phrases and because of what it represents about my own learning and evolution. I even bought a nice new copy when the one I bought at the UW bookstore in 1971 finally fell apart.
Reading Thoreau was certainly part of my intellectual development. I particularly like his exhortation to let the evening overtake one everywhere at home. And so I will ask, in hopes of calling out your interpretation, whether it is ok that there are thinkers whose lives are not what we (or they) think they ought to have been, but whose words can still instruct and inspire?