Review: Ever long for solitude? This essay about a walk in the woods is as close you can get if you can never find the time to achieve solitude. You’re transported into the heart of the woods. And you’re thinking about things. Slowly you grow away from the modern world—in spirit. And you wake up the next day, refreshed and ready to return to the modern world, ready to step on the treadmill again. But you also know you will come to the woods again.
Quote: “These are haunted places, or at least it is easy to feel haunted in them, alone at nightfall.”
Quote: “That sense of the past is probably one reason for the melancholy that I feel.”
Quote: “…though I am here in body, my mind and my nerves too are not yet altogether here.”
Quote: “Nobody knows where I am. I don’t know what is happening to anybody else in the world. While I am here I will not speak, and will have no reason or need for speech.”
Quote: “Wilderness is the element in which we live encased in civilization, as a mollusk lives in his shell in the sea.”
Quote: “And so, coming here, what I have done is strip away the human façade that usually stands between me and the universe, and I see more clearly where I am.”
Quote: “And so I have come here to enact—not because I want to but because once here, I cannot help it—the loneliness and the humbleness of my kind.”
To be continued.
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.