Leaning on Thoreau After a Break-up

Nature and Words Heal.

Dr. Anita


photo by me 12/26/22

There is no greater trouble than the trouble of your own mind.

Often true. While it’s possible for the world to hurt us, and it will — it’s more common that we hurt ourselves with our own brains.

On this rainy, grey day — the day after the “official goodbye” to my dear love, Patrick — I am feeling especially blue. I also feel free and tired. But, mostly blue.

I am re-hashing all of our fun times together. And the hard times. I am thinking about how I loved him, how he loved me, why it couldn’t work, and how it almost did.

Part of me wonders, as with any great love, if there will be a reunion down the road. Perhaps the issues that ended “us,” will be miraculously resolved or dissolved. He and I can go back to trusting each other, fucking each other, and making each other laugh.


When the heart is bruised this badly, it runs.

But, part of me hopes.

Thoreau is helping me through this, by giving perspective and an escape from self.

Reading the journals he kept from 1837 to 1861 is soothing my perseverations. In these journals he gives detailed accounts of his time spent in nature, and with these observations, he reflects on how nature comforts, pleases, and instructs. He muses on what it means to be alive, and how to best be.

Thoreau wrote on March 31 at age 34,

“It would be worth the while to tell why a swamp pleases us, what kinds please us, also what weather, ect.,ect., — analyze our impressions. Why the moaning of the storm gives me pleasure. I sometimes feel that I need to sit in a far-away cave through a three week’s storm, cold and wet, to give a tone to my system.”

“To give a tone to my system,” he says.

I need that.

I have always loved storms. Is it because they howl the way I want to howl? Because they voice the unrest I feel so rabidly in my soul? To enter into a storm — to sit with it for 3 weeks — to be weathered by it — that is the kind of thing that can change you.



Dr. Anita

Doctor by trade; artist at heart. Musings on life. Enjoy inserting humor ‘n hope into the pain. Quiet is scarce in this day and age; reaching for it.