EppsNet Archive: Henry David Thoreau

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories. — Henry David Thoreau

Within the Circuit of this Plodding Life


Within the circuit of this plodding life, There enter moments of an azure hue, Untarnished fair as is the violet Or anemone, when the spring strews them By some meandering rivulet, which make The best philosophy untrue that aims But to console man for his grievances. I have remembered when the winter came, High in my chamber in the frosty nights, When in the still light of the cheerful moon, On every twig and rail and jutting spout, The icy spears were adding to their length Against the arrows of the coming sun, How in the shimmering noon of summer past Some unrecorded beam slanted across The upland pastures where the Johnswort grew; Or heard, amid the verdure of my mind, The bee’s long smothered hum, on the blue flag Loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill, Which now through all its course stands still and dumb Its own memorial,—purling… Read more →

3 Easy Steps to Simplify Your Life


Simplify, simplify, simplify! — Henry David Thoreau, Walden Thoreau’s Walden had a profound impact on my thinking. It’s hard to achieve the kind of transcendent simplicity he describes when you live with other people, as I do, but if your family is out of town for a week, as mine is, here are some things you might want to try. Don’t Recycle When my wife is here, we have to sort and bag bottles, cans and plastic separately. Later on that noise! Everything goes straight into the garbage! Simplify, simplify, simplify! Don’t Wash Dishes Drink liquids from the container and eat food straight out of whatever you cooked it in. If you have to clean an eating utensil, put it in your mouth, press your lips together, and pull it back out. Bloom Where You’re Planted Why walk all the way to the bathroom if there’s a bottle, can or… Read more →

Useless Junk


I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily . . . and threw them out the window in disgust. Read more →

Burning Down the House


I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and I threw them out the window in disgust. How, then, could I have a furnished house? I would rather sit in the open air, for no dust gathers on the grass, unless where man has broken ground. — Henry David Thoreau, Walden We’ve got a number of uncontrolled fires burning in Southern California. It’s raining ash out of a darkened sky in Orange County, where I live, although we’re nowhere near the actual fires. Read more →