These are Henry Thoreau’s last words. Think long pauses between tuberculosis breaths. He is a distant relative of mine, a kind of distant that all of us share with someone like “Lucy” the Rift Valley Girl. Actually, I am related to the great philosopher. A strand of his DNA would be nice to test for what I hypothesize to be the cuckoo gene that traveled six generations and infinite possibilities to my father’s 23 surprises gifted on consummation day.
Come to think of it, I might have more of him than less. I have an inordinate amount of will power, a love of the natural world, aloneness tendencies, and, I am a horrible dresser. What I didn’t get is oh so obvious—his way with words. So I paint what I can on canvas and go sound a lake for an afternoon. “Better to be a living dog than a dead lion,” eh cousin?