Hunting with Thoreau


Sometimes it seems like I am off topic more than on.

The mission is reading, but since I’m reading about fishing, I end up looking at the words but thinking about fishing and completely missing out on what’s happening on the page.

This is probably part of the goal of an outdoors writer because the audience might enjoy the book thanks to the memories it conjured rather than the words themselves. I have found that there is a place for tangent thinking as long as one realizes and does not assume the author meant the conversation to go there. It is dangerous to mold words to manipulate meaning today because loud mobs are looking to convince you to join their chaos by appealing to emotion in the absence of fortified logic. The recipe is simple, like filling out a political Mad Lib.

“If (insert oversimplified statement about a side with which you disagree), then you’re part of the problem.”

Anyway, with the coming of spring came an impulse to dive back into Thoreau which I do once a year when I feel the need for some Transcendentalism.

While living at Walden Pond, Thoreau wrote:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation… A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called games and amusements of mankind.”

On my latest grouse debacle, I thought about that. Was this amusing?

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