the simple minded suburbanite


Virgin Forests and Hunting Tigers
October 14, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: authenticity, culture, voluntary simplicity | Tags: ,

AFter my day of near breakdown over the present moment (see previous post), I pulled myself together yesterday and wrote and worked, for hours.  I feel so full and so inspired and so grateful, as well.  This morning, as I savored a cup of coffee and the final pages of Madame Bovary, during the 20 minutes between loading bus #1 and waking load #2, I came across this and felt, like I often do when reading certain passages, that is was sent my way.

Letter from Gustave Flaubert to Maxime du Camp ( Croisset, April, 1846)

“When I consider everything that can happen, I do not see anything that might change me; I mean essentially, in my life, in the daily rhythm of existence; and that I am beginning to develop a habit of work for which I thank heaven.  I read or write regularly from eight to ten hours a day; and if somebody disturbs me, I am quite sick about it.  There are many days when I don’t go to the end of the garden; the boat is not even afloat.  I am thirsty for long study and hard work.  That inner life which I have always dreamed about is at last beinning to emerge.  All this may mean a decline in peotry, by which I mean inspiration, passion, thie instinctive movement.  I am afraid of drying up from too much learning, and yet from another point of view I am so ignorant that I blush for myself.  It is remarkable how, since the deaths of my father and sister, I have lost all love for fame.  The moments when I think about the future success of my career as an artist are the exceptional ones.  I very often doubt that I should ever publish a line.  Do you know, I like the idea of a jolly fellow who would publish nothing until the age of fifity and who, all of a suden, one fine day, would bring out his complete works and leave it at that?…An artist who would really be an artist and for himself alone, without concerning himself with anything, that would be fine; he might enjoy himself emourmously.  It is probably that the pleasure one can have strolling through virgin forest or hunting tigers is marred by the idea that one must later make an artful description to please as many bourgeois people as possible.”

Savor the forest.  Balance the practical life.  Go within.

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