Learning from Thoreau

I started this project on this day in 2010. Here is my opening salvo:

Backyard and Beyond

Henry David Thoreau didn’t particularly like cities, including New York, all that much.  “The pigs in the street are the most respectable part of the population,”he wrote while visiting in 1843.  Thoreau was a country mouse at heart, not a city rat.  He was neither the first nor the last to believe that there was a hard line between nature and culture (or wilderness and civilization, or natural and unnatural). 

This separation between the outside and inside may be a basic human characteristic, one as old as the species.  When there are dangerous things out there, we seek protection in here, drawing into our shell like a snail at the first sign of danger.  But has the border between the inside and the outside ever been that tight?  Didn’t insects, snakes, and small mammals slip into the cave?  The ancestors of the domestic cat and dog certainly came…

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1 Response to “Learning from Thoreau”


  1. 1 suwalsh March 3, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Hey Matthew,

    I don’t want to log in to WordPress to comment but I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post today!!!

    Sue


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