Last night, a friend loaned me a book. I accepted it eagerly, excited to see what another person thinks I would like to read. Then, I opened the book and began to read. And then, I lost at least 45 minutes. Seriously, from the first page, I was totally hooked. I’m not quite finished but I am confident to give it my stamp of approval.
It’s all about the relationships of the Transcendentalists, and it is so fascinating. Sometimes, I feel like we think about all of these famous authors as just dusty people who sat alone, always writing. But, they had such interesting thoughts, interactions with each other, and interactions with society at large. I am feeling inspired all over again, thinking about man’s connection with nature. And, it’s making me feel desperate for a community in which I can be an English major again. I miss long discussions about books-discussions that start out talking about a particular work and then branch out to address real life issues or social conditions. I miss debating. I miss feeling my mind expanding or flipping quickly through a book, trying to find the perfect page to back up my opinions. I miss college.
I’ve been thinking a lot about success lately. I wonder what I can do to feel successful, and I want desperately to get to the end of my life and think that perhaps, I have made some sort of difference in the world. I feel like that is kind of cheesy and silly, but it’s true, nonetheless. So, then, the parts in the book concerning Thoreau are resonating with me as I read. At the beginning of his career, Thoreau was often overshadowed by Emerson, and many believed that he had nothing new to contribute to the cannon. I’m sure he struggled, trying to find an identity that was stable. He had tons of random jobs, but he still made a difference-he still became a success.
I’m still processing through all of this right now, so my thoughts are still scattered. But, I like the way this book is making me think.
But, I have to confess that it is making me afraid that I have lost my ability to write papers or analyze literature. That’s another story, though.
Please, check out this book! It’s so good!