We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor… I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Walden, 59
At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and Titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander. 205
I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors, to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. 209
Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can? Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made. 210
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. 214
Is it not possible that an individual may be right and a government wrong? Are laws to be enforced simply because they were made? or declared by any number of men to be good, if they are not good? Is there a necessity for a man’s being a tool to perform a deed of which his better nature disapproves? Is it the intention of law-makers that good men shall be hung ever? Are judges to interpret the law according to the letter, and not the spirit?… In cases of the highest importance, it is of no consequence whether a man breaks a human law or not. 47
1851 - the thoughts of Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe on selling 2 million acres of his people’s land for $150,000:
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man —- all belong to the same family.
So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children.
So, we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you the land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s grave behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children, and he does not care. His father’s grave, and his children’s birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.
I do not know. Our ways are different than your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of the insect’s wings. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with pinon pine.
The air is precious to the red man for all things share the same breath, the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers.
So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition - the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.
I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know which the white man may one day discover; our God is the same God.
You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. The earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your perishing you will shine brightly fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.
That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.
The end of living and the beginning of survival.
Food is wonderful. I really look forward to going to the grocery store every week. There are infinite combinations of flavors and textures you can put together for any meal, and the more experimenting you do, the better you’ll get. I’m not a professional chef or anything. But it’s just a great feeling to take some different things and put them together and create something that’s much better than the sum of its parts.
Naturally I have to get philosophical about this. When you eat food that is wholesome and natural, whose existence didn’t destroy some small portion of the earth for the sake of our (over)consumption, that’s when eating really feels good. Because when you adopt this strategy, unhealthy, processed, synthetic foods just lose their appeal. You don’t crave them anymore. You crave feeding your body, and thus your mind, with the optimal combination of nutrients and flavor. You don’t feel “guilty” about what you just ate. I think this is what it means to “eat healthy.”
Also, the “post-lunch crash” is an ironic thing. In the middle of the day, we’re hungry, we need energy to kick us through that last half of work or class. Why do we eat food that does the exact opposite? I used to eat a generous portion of a Quiznos sub for lunch everyday, and there was about a 5% chance I’d make it through my 2:00 cell bio class without sleeping. It’s so backwards. A small change in diet allowed me to eliminate that completely, by eating a lunch that’s not heavy, saturated with grease and fat, and excessive. Give your body what it really craves - eat a veggie wrap, or a Clif bar and an apple. You actually - imagine the possibilities - become more energized after lunch. You feel light and it’s easier to focus. Food feels so much better this way.
The source of the food is as important as the content of what you eat. If I buy those frozen chicken nuggets to heat up for dinner, probably 20 chickens suffered mercilessly so I could feed my body with 20 unwholesome, processed, and low-quality nuggets. Those chickens themselves were fed with a disgusting excuse for nutrition so that they’d get fat and make a tasty nugget someday. And in buying these nuggets, I directly or indirectly support everything that went into this production process. This is a matter of social responsibility, really. Every sale that this nugget company makes goes right back towards the process so that they can do more of the same. It’s not good for the earth, not good for animals, not good for your body, and not good for society. That might seem dramatic but all of these things really link together. We must evolve as a people, as individuals. We need to understand the consequences of what we do, and we’re at a point where what we do must change, or we’ll irreversibly damage our planet.
A healthy diet is just one part of a holistically healthy lifestyle. And of course it’s easier to think than act, to theorize than to practice. I’m not perfect and sometimes I buy food that isn’t of the highest quality. But we can all start being a little more conscious of what we’re doing now, and take the first steps towards improving. This is how change begins.
Two times now all the pictures on my phone have disappeared and then magically reappeared a week or two later. I took it as a sign that before they get deleted permanently I should save some of them on my computer. These are a few of the cooler ones
Polar ice caps are melting pretty damn fast. makes me uncomfortable
here’s the article http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77270