Monday, February 24, 2020

the walls and fences


Now I yearn for one of those old, meandering, dry uninhabited roads, 
which lead away from towns, which lead us away from temptation, 
which conduct to the outside of Earth, over its uppermost crust; 
where you may forget in what country you are traveling; where no farmer can
 complain that you are treading down his grass, no gentleman who has
 recently constructed a seat in the country that you are trespassing; 
on which you can go off at half cock and wave adieu to the village;
 along which you may travel like a pilgrim, going nowhither; 
where travelers are not too often to be met; where my spirit is free;
 where the walls and fences are not cared for; where your head is more
 in heaven than your feet are on earth; which have long reaches 
where you can see the approaching traveler half a mile off
 and be prepared for him; not so luxuriant a soil as to attract men; 
some root and stump fences which do not need attention; where travelers 
have no occasion to stop, but pass along and leave you to your thoughts; 
where it makes no odds which way you face, whether you are going or coming, 
whether it is morning or evening, mid-noon or midnight; where earth is 
cheap enough by being public; where you can walk and think with least obstruction,
 where you can pace when your breast is full, and cherish your moodiness; 
where you are not in false relations with men, are not dining nor conversing 
with them; by which you may go to the uttermost parts of the earth.

~ Henry David Thoreau
from his journal, July 21 1851
art by Roderick Maclver