Thoreau on Loneliness

April 17, 2008 | 2 Comments | DIY Philosophy
DIY diva

I am no more lonely than the loon in the pond that laughs so loud, or than Walden Pond itself. What company has that lonely lake, I pray? And yet it has not the blue devils, but the blue angels in it, in the azure tint of its waters. The sun is alone, except in thick weather, when there sometimes appear to be two, but one is a mock sun… I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or horse-fly, or a humble-bee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house.

~H.D. Thoreau, Walden

DIY diva


  • Hairy Weisenheimmer

    I’d totally give up body parts to be able to write like that……..

  • Victor Tatania

    For my dearest new web-friend. I hold her as a Precious Gift in my heart.
    Loneliness is not measured by the absence of fair weather friends. It is not measured by any professional status or occupation. For loneliness – is an emotion generated by fear. We have two such dominant emotions – fear and love. From these two emotions all others spring forth. You, like Thoreau, understand our human condition- our basic animal nature to seek happiness in this journey. Fear is the enemy, because it brings with it a million obligations. It controls our behavior. It makes us believe we ‘have’ to behaviors to answer the fears. The more we resist fear, the more we suffer, because we perform our behavior expecting others to react because they too sense the fear obligations. We cannot control the free choices of others; hence, fear is the path of a bad dream. Fear exposes frustration, anger, and the downward spiral in our mind begins.
    Thoreau discovers that Love is his life preserver, his life force. Love allows him to escape the false obligations fear put into our mind. In his above writing, he flows into the truth of Love: that every relationship we have is unique to itself. So he really has a blinding flash of the obvious: that his relationships to his environment fulfill his current solitude (a lack of people and a lack of Love). Oh my, his loneliness is vanquished!
    I believe additionally, that when we have others who depend on us, this unique relationship is an even stronger opponent to fear because there can be no other more superior purpose for self. Loneliness vanquished indeed.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email is never shared.
    Required fields are marked *