In May I started writing a newsletter about my creative life at substack.com. It contains essays, creative nonfiction pieces, short stories, poems, songs, reviews of books and music, podcast announcements, and talk about the craft of writing and creativity in general. I’ll use this blog to announce new issues, which come out every 7 to 10 days.
We got back from a relaxing cabin vacation in Tioga county, Pennsylvania last Friday. As someone who teaches Thoreau often for my Literature and Environment course, I was thinking of Henry David a lot while in our small cabin near a lake. The message from Walden that seems to resonate with me and my students the most is his advice that we simplify, always simplify our lives.
Simplicity can be a hard row to hoe today. Too many distractions, too much clutter. If we want to practice what Thoreau preaches, we need to do so in small steps and tiny gestures. Allow yourself to inch towards the goal of simplicity. I will give you a mildly absurd case in point. Let’s talk home stereos.