“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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
This quotation, more than any other, speaks to the way I try to live my life — mindfully, simply, longing and looking for meaning — fearful of the prospect that I might drift into merely existing, being carried away by the current of popular distractions and momentary obsessions. It’s why I aspire to voluntary simplicity, why my Saturdays are often spent contemplating what else I can let go of and surrender to thrift shops the next day, why I weigh my interest in meaningful hobbies against the amount of time I’d have to spend working to afford them. I hope one day to be able to say “I did it. I found the balance”, to die as neither a mindless consumer-creature nor a lonely, inward-fallen philosophical recluse like Thoreau.