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April 2019

Power of Place #2

Every place has a distinct feeling created by memories attached to them. For me (without sounding like I’m brown nosing) it is Fitz’s classroom.  Fitz’s classroom is a symbol for the 9th grade, a symbol of freedom, learning, and everything it means to be a Fenn boy. As you step in the classroom you are greated with a wall of guitars and Fitz sitting the back of the room, probably fiddling with a guitar or an old microphone. I think people don’t realize the significance of the place that they are in. There could be 1000 years of history in the place you stand, but you would have no way of knowing it. Fitz’s classroom is one of those places. Thousands of poems, millions of words all thrown together as an experiment of learning the English language. Fitz’s room holds a significance to those who truly enjoy writing and reading, not only because it is comfortable, but it feels like it is at the center of the school, making it a perfect place to find ideas and to be inspired. My favorite memory’s in Fitz’s classroom aren’t the ones where I had a ton of fun or ate a bunch of food, they’re the ones where I was able to sit down and somehow put 1,000 words on a a page in an hour. It’s a room that has the ability to turn you into a writing genius even if you had the most busy and tiring day. You walk in, you get briefed by Fitz, and then you lay down on one of the couches or sit in one of the chairs and get to work. Most people may not be able to relate to this, but if you ever entered Fitz’s room, you’d understand.


Nature Reflection Paragraph

Nature is like an orchestra of the most finely tuned and best musicians in the world. Every component has one job and comes together to create the most amazing miracle of a symphony. As I walk around my quiet neighborhood, with trees overhead and grass under my feet, I like for the subtleties in nature. The newly bloomed flower, the young doe peeking through the brush, the large tree finally sprouting new leaves. It’s easy to marvel at the vastness of nature, but it’s much easier to miss the little things that keep the entire thing together. Like the lone drummer keeping the beat, or the single violinist playing the high note. As I turn the corner to wk back to my house, I reflect on how I’m not adapted to living in a concrete box, and I really only feel at home in nature. Though I must return from this break from modern life, to resume the eternal hustle.


Walden Writing Prompt #4

I hate perfection. Unfortunately, in Economy by Thoreau, he perfectly explores the deepest parts of necessity and ultimately the human condition. His literary talent doesn’t give us a question, but makes us question ourselves and why we live the way we do. Thoreau is one of the best writers in the world, his work feels almost perfect in every way. More specifically, he perfectly describes why people think they need stuff, and why they actually don’t need very much.“All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.” (Thoreau, Economy)

Thoreau is a philosopher on par with Socrates. I think people are so blinded by his skillful writing that they forget the power of the things that he writes about. The main point of Economy is the idea of necessity, and how people are under the impression that they need more, even if they have plenty more than they need already. Thoreau writes about the positives of being alone, and how people seek out companionship more than they should, even if it overall makes them feel worse.

 

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

 

Thoreau writes about his own experiences and opinions, but he makes it easy to parallel with your own life. People say that the best art is the type that you can see yourself in, and that’s exactly what Thoreau was able to craft. 

Economy changed my whole perspective on necessity and the value of stuff rather than experiences and knowledge. I originally thought that companionship would be one of my necessity’s, but now I realize living with someone 24/7 would be more draining than it would be helpful to the pursuit of knowledge. Of course, there are flaws with Thoreau’s ideas. He did have to go to town every day, as loneliness is a very real, and very dangerous problem. I think that companionship may be a necessity, but not at the same level as something like food or shelter. I think the most amazing part of Thoreau’s writing is how 160 years later, in the 21st century, I am still able to easily relate to how he writes, which may prove it to be some of the best writing about humans of all time. In my personal opinion, Economy is a masterpiece on the level of Shakespeare, Socrates, or Mark Twain’s writings.

Though I hate perfection, Thoreau isn’t perfect in the way you would think, not in his writing, but in his character and the way that he portrays himself. I respect him for his character and what he values and what he is willing to give up in the name of poetry. I think most poets like to put themselves or their views on the world on display, while Thoreau just allows you to peak, while really reflecting on yourself. A good poet tells, a great poet shows


Walden Writing Prompt #3

I only need a few things in my life. Henry David Thoreau said you technically only need food, shelter, clothes, and fuel. Though this is true, even Thoreau couldn’t pull this off for more than a year. I think that companionship and entertainment are just as important as any of the other things that Thoreau listed. It has been noted by human historians that the thing that sets humans apart from other creatures, is not just that they are just “smart” but it is hoot they communicate with each other. Without regular companionship I would surely go crazy in just a few weeks, like a lone penguin left behind by the group. Paul Tillich said, “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.” This makes perfect sense to me. Thoreau glorifies the solitude of the cabin, even though he went to town every day to avoid going crazy. I think strength of mind, and not just body, should be known as an absolute necessity. 


Haikus of Seasons

Spring:

 

The smell of mud

The taste of humid air

Fond memories linger

 

young morning awaits

step outside to reveal

the warm spring day

 

The first birds chirp

Thaws the snow 

And warms the heart

 

The floors bloom

Brightens the world

And is extinguished 

 

These ones are probably my worst ones. I enjoyed making them but they are clearly some of the worst ones that I posted. I barely added any special elements or my own experiences. The rest is much better.

Summer:

 

Calloused feet

Calloused hands

Why so many callouses

 

Blazing sun

Lapping waves

I have a callous

 

Time flies by

But memories of summer

Slow it down

 

A summers night 

Is like a clear kiss

From Mother Nature 

 

This one I experimented with some more comical poems and I also used a bit of metaphors. I enjoyed making these ones more nonetheless.

Fall:

 

Leaves fall

But my spirits

Will not today

 

Fall reminds me

Of the briefness of life

To be snuffed out

 

Orange red yellow

The colors of a 

New world to come

 

Fall is like an

Ocean wave lapping

Bringing new life

 

I liked these ones more, I felt like it came from my heart a lot more. Unfortunately I don’t like Fall very much so the poems didn’t mean as much to me.

 

Winter:

 

The quietness of winter

Suffocation leads to

Absolute coziness

 

Winter is like a sled dog

Pulling with all it’s might

But succumbing to nature

 

Each snowflake

Is as unique as the

last falling crystal

 

The first winters snow

Brings the endless quiet

By a warm fire

 

I think the winter ones are my best. I love the Winter and I also used metaphors and I tried to have a slight twist. I really enjoyed my last poem as I used narrowing and expanding, as contrasted the first massive snow with the small warm fire.


Walden Essay #1

 

The Beauty of The Outdoors

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Where life begins...

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

Nature is the door to simplicity. I felt this when I was reading Economy by Thoreau. I could feel Thoreau’s perspective, and I agreed with him on how modern life can get you caught up on the unimportant things. His philosophy was that all humans need is food, shelter, clothes, and fuel. So for two years he lived in nature with only what he needed. This allowed him to appreciate the simple stuff in life and be self reliant. I’ve always wanted to try this every since I saw the actual location that Thoreau’s cabin was next to Walden pond. The idea of making my life as simple as it can be is something I’ve always admired.  

When it comes down to it, what’s more important, temporary things like wealth and power, or things that last forever like being in touch with nature or the pursuit of knowledge. Henry David Thoreau put it well when he said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” I value this quote mostly because it mirrors my own beliefs, though, like everyone I wouldn’t mind a little money an fame. It’s easy to look at other in envy and ignore the beauty of everyday life. Thoreau said, “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” This is one of the hardest things to not only take to heart, but also to complete in your own life. It’s easier to stand your ground and wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else, instead you should understand that you can’t change your circumstances, and you only get one life. I think everyone has caught themselves wishing to be someone else, but you don’t truly know the struggles of others. No life is perfect, so you should cherish your own while it lasts. It’s easy as we grow older to judge and try to understand things that we couldn’t possibly begin to. In Economy, Thoreau said,

We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.

I remember when I was little, exploring the woods behind my house, woods only a half mile from where Thoreau wrote Economy. I remember feeling like the woods stretched on forever, every stick was a sword and every acorn was a treasure. Nature brings out the greatest imagination and creativity in people. As I get older I get more cynical and less imaginative, but every time I go into the woods I still feel the same wonder and amazement that I felt when I was six years-old.

Nature always brings us back, it’s where all life comes from, and where all life returns to. The last important quote I’d like to show you by Thoreau is one of the most important: “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau isn’t looking at nature as something completely different than any other normal person. The difference is what Thoreau sees in it, and how he is able to turn it into eloquently worded, easily quotable, always intelligent masterpieces of literature. What is most interesting about Economy is not the ideas he talks about (though that is interesting) but it is how Thoreau can see the ins and outs of the world and explain it in ways must people couldn’t even fathom.

Overall, I enjoyed Economy, not because it was some classic that I knew I was “supposed” to like because it used fancy language that you haven’t seen in 150 years. No, I liked it because a I could see myself in it. I’ve heard that true art is only when anyone can look at it and immediately be able to feel the emotions and experience the feelings that were put into the art. Thoreau isn’t a poet, he’s a painter of words.