Sunday, April 03, 2005

hope and keep busy

Nosy as ever, I was noodling around the blogosphere yesterday and came across the blog of Henry David Thoreau. It reminded me of the aspect of living in New England that I really like - being immersed in the environment of the great northern woods (what's left of them, anyway) and the culture of the brilliant thinkers who lived in and were shaped by them.

I'm fascinated by the overlap between the ideas of New England's transcendentalists and those of Buddhism; both emphasize the beauty and wisdom of the natural world, and a thoughtful, meditative, do-no-harm approach to life.

Inspired, I got out a book of Louisa May Alcott's life and letters. (in an interesting sidenote, the book was edited by a woman from JP in 1889; LMA died in 1888. I live right next door, so to speak, to JP. How cool!) It's one of those books that I've had around forever, and glanced through but never really read.

I'm really enjoying it now; it seems newly relevant to me - a single woman in New England, just trying to get through the day and maybe make a little something creative besides. (Not that I'm comparing myself to LMA, of course!)Incidentally, the title of this posting is a suggested antidote to depression taken from LMA's journal.

Speaking of good advice, here's a little admonishment Louisa May Alcott kept all her life, imparted by her mother (as good today as it was in 1850):

Rule yourself.
Love your neighbor.
Do the duty which lies nearest you.

Boy, those Alcott women were pretty sharp.


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