Monday, September 8, 2008

Update 31 + Inspiration 4

As chance would have it I’ve been stumbling over Henry David Thoreau this week (not literally!!). My calendar at home has a favourite quote for September from the great man – “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined”; and I happened by chance upon his weblog!! Thoreau is a source of inspiration for me and untold others via his book ‘Walden or, Life in the Woods’. And isn't that a great picture of the young man.

[Quick update for anyone confused – on July 4 1845 Thoreau, aged 28, picked up his axe and walked off into the woods around Walden Pond (near Concord, Massachusetts) and spent two years experiencing the simple life. The book is his recollection of the first year there when he built his cabin, grew crops to sustain himself, lived in the cabin, wandered around and er..pondered (ha ha!).]

The weblog is great (link is now on the left with Dilbert keeping him company) as it’s his journal. Every couple of days you get a new entry. It’s not like Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal which has its own charm but Thoreau’s tends to be shorter and more varied.

I loved Walden when I read it at University, like Wordsworth (and Bly, Whitman and Coleridge), Thoreau has a powerful impact on my imagination. Entering the wilderness, hacking out a simple existence, solitude, pondering, then re-entering society a changed being is a recurring theme. Buddha, Kung Fu’s Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) and Luke Skywalker’s training with Yoda on Dagobah all conform to the same pattern. Interesting!! When I was much younger I loved the Arthur Ransome 'Swallows and Amazons' books - a group of children having Huck Finn like adventures sounded pretty peachy keen to my mind.

The 'dreams' quote, of course, is brill. I love the imperatives 'Go' and 'live' - it's positive and forward moving, and order! And 'confidently' nails it! You've got to back yourself!! And 'imagination' - well John and Yoko didn't invent the concept. The quote formed part of the fabric of our decision in 2004 to Go! and Live! in England. It's forever a relevant challenge to us all right! Live the life you've imagined. Don't settle for anything less or as Joni Mitchell would have it - no regrets Coyote.

Other bits and pieces - This week we've had exams at school so it's back to marking for me - I've done the Board of Trustee scholarship exam marking and now hard at my Year 13. Exams eh - little tests that we sweat through or over that give us...what? Character? I'll never forget how physically sick I was before my school certificate exams (age 15). I failed them. Who knows what's good or bad.

The photos from the ball that were taken by our official photographer are in. She who must be obeyed scrubbs up pretty well huh!

Currently grooving to: a collection of Lennon covers put out recently by Amnesty International and Yoko (I guess) to support Darfur. Actually the cover says 'Make some noise, Save Darfur'. The connotation here of noise is music I presume. If only life (and death) was that simple, but the 2CD package is actually pretty good. Usual mixed bag, especially over 2 CD's, but the highlights are many - one is an amazing version of 'Mother' by wait for it...Christina Aguilera!!! I know!!! I'd put the CD on and a few tracks went by pleasantly enough (U2 and REM), then on comes this great great voice. It was so impressive I had to check out the track listing and nearly died of fright. Christina!! She really howls out the 'Mother - I had you, but you never had me' lines. Very, very impressive. Other standouts are The Cure's version of 'Love', Jackson Browne's 'oh My Love', The Raveonettes, 'One day at a time'... and by this time I'm revising my opinion of these cover version projects. A quick check of my collection - I'm be right back... - reveals that I own eleven complete CD's of either Lennon or Beatle covers compilations (apart from 'Save Darfur'). They are as follows: Lennon Covered (in 2 volumes); A Tribute to John Lennon; A tribute to John Lennon/ Working Class Hero; Why Don't We Do It In the Road (Beatles); Beatlemania (in 2 volumes) and four run throughs of complete albums (Revolver once, Abbey Rd once and Sgt Peppers twice). Mostly they contain one ot two okay versions and the horrors of yer Toad The Wet Sprockets or Generation Xs. But check out the Darfur package (hitting the bargain bins at a store near you as I type) and especially Christina.

Nature watch is taking a break this update - no more Daffodil updates coz they've peaked and now it's a slow decline. We had a fantastically sunny and warm weekend (the boys' football team won their last game and finished third in their league) which meant Jacky and I did a lot of yard work - moving lawns, chopping trees, picking up storm damage branches - that sort of thing. Jacky said 'enough already with the mountain pictures' so I think I've covered that too.

Have a groovy week.

Love and peace - W

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