We’re a Bunch of Beauties – Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping-Beauty-1Here’s Henry Thoreau writing way back in the 1840s with some good thoughts for us all today:

“If you have built castles in the air your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

So he clearly believes that we should dream; that we should build those castles in the air,

Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, I take his meaning to be.

And he goes on:

“Why level downward toward the dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring.”

He must have been a great teacher when he turned his hand to that fine art, together with his brother John founding a grammar school called Concord Academy, long before the famous prep school by that name was founded. He must have lit up the classroom with witty pithy bits of like that.

I bet he was kind to his pupils always.

But for sure he’s no fan of those who hardly know they’re alive, which let’s face it is most of us, most of the time.

Plus were always complaining. As Henry puts it, “Some would find fault with the morning red, if they ever got up early enough.”

Like his friend Emerson, Thoreau believed that the present is what matters. “All we have is this day, as my friend Gwen said yesterday in a comment on an earlier post of mine

I like the way Henry puts it too:

“The learned societies and great men of Assyria” he says. “Where are they now? What youthful philosophers and experimentalists we are! There is not one of my readers who has yet lived a whole human life!”

True enough. Now we see through a glass, darkly, as that famous letter-writer put it to his little band of pals in Corinth, but then one day face to face. And  who knows what glories we will look upon then?

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9 thoughts on “We’re a Bunch of Beauties – Sleeping Beauties

    1. So true. In his prose is so clear and unaffected, that’s what I can’t get over.. As against the sentences of Henry James say, or even of Ralph down the road in his Concord manse..amazing guy!

  1. Castles in the air need foundations under them. In other words, DO something, don’t just stand there. I think you live up to that in your life.

    1. That IS what he was saying isn’t it Joan? I thought so too. Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” came to my mind but it’s so blunt and ugly a phrase it doesn’t hold a candle to what HDT said.

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