i remember reading Walden for the first time at 16. i remember feeling something deep inside of myself resonate with Thoreau’s words. i remember promising myself that i would ‘live deliberately‘ at all costs. i do not remember the moment i forgot that promise. i remember watching Dead Poet’s Society frequently, trying to soak the ethos into my very core. i do not remember consciously resigning. i remember choosing to major in English at college and focus on writing, specifically because i believed it to be the tool to staying alive. i do not remember when i fell asleep.
but i did fall asleep. somewhere between tv shows, failures, 9-5 office jobs, disappointments, immigration, sleepless nights with my small children and fear, i drifted off. it took me 13 years to wake up. but i did wake up! i do not know how. what alarm was set? i cannot pinpoint the moment when it happened. in fact it feels like a slow awakening, like over a couple of months the sun rose, dawn came and my soul responded. whatever, whoever, however the reason, i am so thankful.
i am 29 years old. i am married. i have 2 children under 2. i am an american. i live in england. i believe in, and love God. i have started this blog because i still believe–as i did at 19–that writing is a great way to stay alive.
below are the original, inspiring excerpts from Walden that so moved me 13 years ago. i would love anyone else who is inspired by them to join me in the fight to stay awake.
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. To be awake is to be alive.
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. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
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.