Thoreau’s journals have many comments on the nature of journals, of which this one is closest to my own impetus for writing one, albeit patchily: I put off writing for weeks because once I start there is so much to say, even keeping only to one’s ‘affection for any aspect of the world’.

And I’m conscious that time spent writing a journal is time not spent writing a letter or having a phone call with someone. Perhaps this website is instead the place where I write of things I love to think of.

Thoreau himself in fact ranges far more widely than only the things he loves.

‘My Journal should be the record of my love.  I would write in it only of the things I love, my affection for any aspect of the world, what I love to think of.’  

 

Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, 16 November 1850, Damion Searls, ed., preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 44

Photo credit: Kira auf der Heide at unsplash

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