Living Deliberately: 365 Days

Day 1: January 1, 2014

In the Spirit and Genius of

— Henry David Thoreau —

Naturalist, Environmentalist, Economist,

Civil Rights Activist

This year-long blog is a personal and public attempt to delve into the words of Henry David Thoreau, to explore his thoughts, observations, and beliefs — in particular, as he writes in Walden and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience — and to discern what he has to say that is relevant to our contemporary challenges, especially concerning environmental justice and pollution prevention issues.

The blog is also an attempt to explore the influence Thoreau had on me personally.  As a young high school and college student who avidly studied Thoreau and as a young woman launching out thirty-five years ago to a new place to live with my husband, Ken Ferruccio, to a log cabin home in the woods of rural Warren County, North Carolina, I was greatly influenced by Thoreau’s purpose in living at Walden Pond and later in his using civil disobedience as a means of confronting tyranny and living with personal integrity.  When Ken and I chose in 1977 to move from urban life in Columbus, Ohio, to join friends and to put roots down in our Warren County log cabin home, we took to heart what Thoreau said when he declared,

“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 decided that this blog is the perfect format for discussing what I have learned and discovered about essential living, about living in nature and about living in a county, state, and nation where civil disobedience is a necessary tool for survival.

I decided to speak directly to the reader and viewer in first-person narrative for the same reasons that Thoreau states on page one of Walden that he is writing in first person narrative:

“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I know as well.  Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.  Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives…”

I am committed in this blog to such a simple and sincere account of my own reflections on living deliberately, and my hope is that my personal musings will touch in valuable ways on what it means for us to live deliberately as conscientious members of a county, state, nation, and world community.