Thursday, April 10, 2008

* Henry David Thoreau was intelligent within his body.

Once when he was walking in nature far from his home base of Concord, Massachusettes, he unusually tripped and sprained his ankle. As he fell, he saw the arnica plant which he used to prevent swelling and pain.

His father was a pencil manufacturer. Henry could reach into a crate of pencils and come up with a handful that was a dozen, again and again.

Walking with a stranger to Concord, the stranger asked if a particular plant grew there. Thoreau said, "Yes," while reaching down and picking off a sprig of that plant that was right there, and handing it to the stranger.

Thoreau was aware of the details of where he was, whatever where that was.

These facts from Emerson's essay remembering Thoreau after his death. From way over here in time, people who are aware of Thoreau are used to that Thoreau wrote "Civil Disobedience" and "Walden" and oh, yeah, some other stuff.

Emerson felt strongly that there was much to come that was written. He missed that writing and he missed Thoreau, a distinctive and particular guy.