A Gallery of Days: Philosophizing on Thoreausday


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. (Walden, 323- 324)

I’ve always said, aloud and in my head, I’d never want to permanently live anwhere there’s only one or two seasons. (Not that I could afford to live in Hawaii, beautiful though it is.) I need variety to splice up my life. Yes, splice. Sounds sorta like a soda pop, but it’s not. Unless you consider the mental effervescence in the mix.

If life (or our perception of it) is strandlike — and that’s obviously debatable — and generally the threads hew (in the bonding sense of the word) together but are not necessarily linear, do we move from thread to thread, then back again, dancing on high-wires, as we age? Seamlessly or not. Many of the threads are touching, raveling, wrestling, melanging together. Perhaps all of them imperceptibly.

I’ve been thinking how even broken or mistuned words can be therapy. My own writings, or others’. Let’s call the last category shelf-therapy. This is when you dig down past the bites and bolts, through the nuts and molts, letter by letter, sherd by sherd, to excavate some dry meaning from the silty bed of experience.

I’m not a mental health expert or adviser, but I do have a therapist/counselor, beyond myself, who therapizes. To me, self-therapizing is allowing yourself to be . . . not exactly hypnotized, not quite enthralled, but more like a human sieve, mindful of everything and nothing at the same time, both absorbing and letting go of thoughts and the emotions that sometimes anchor them. Think of it as an almost “my god, it’s full of stars” moment. Or at least one hopes it’s semi-transcendent.

I haven’t therapized my own mind lately, but I am learning to be my own advocate, my own walking coping card in a mental Rolodex somewhere among the cobby webs or webby cogs. Wobbly blobs? Bloggly wobs? In any case, I’m supposing that autumn + summer (autumner? Gordon Sumner?) is my favorite trio of months, even with all the hen-with-its-head-cut-off freneticness of school days, holidays, and just plain old everyday days daze.

But now, enjoy a gallery, why don’t you? And many thanks for reading and viewing.


Imbibe more autumn-themed posts at Sarah Potter Writes (she has several, but here’s just one haiku). View stunning fall colors (but not trees!) at Cee’s photography blog. Or if you want to jump on the October spirit wagon, check out the Grammar Ghoul Press challenge; a worthy example by Janna T is here. Or take a spin on the tilt-a-whirl of Writer’s Digest‘s latest “Your Story” competition.

7 thoughts on “A Gallery of Days: Philosophizing on Thoreausday

    • An Ali?! 🙂 But seriously, I can also identify with your sentiment that the favorite season is the one in which I’m not currently immersed. Congrats on the newest Liebster award, Mark!

  1. Ooo, thank you for the mention 🙂
    I’m slowly adjusting to Autumn. Today, I had one of my rare shopping trips to town and purchased a pair of waterproof black trousers and two hats — a bright red beret and a black one with sparkly black bits on it. The latter one will look extremely whacky with my tomboyish leather jacket, as well as keeping me warm.
    As for self-therapizing — I’ve never switched off from my training as a psychiatric nurse, even though I haven’t worked as one for twenty years. Early in my training, we had to analyze ourselves before even venturing down the route of analyzing others.

  2. My life is certainly an example (symptom?) of” bloggly wobs,” but I’ve grown accustomed to the wavering lines, and would likely not know quite how to react in a strictly linear world…

  3. I know what you mean about four seasons. I lived in Phoenix for over 25 years and the seasons were pretty much ‘warm’ and ‘hot’. Since moving, I find myself looking forward to seeking out changing leaf colors, and I’m right along with the kids in watching the first snowflakes of the winter. Such excitement!

  4. Leigh, you have a wonderful, unique way with words that gave an extra edge to the meaning of this post. I love four seasons – autumn is my favourite, but I’m hoping for a proper winter this year too. And as for self-therapy, words are definitely a form of it for me.

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