Monday, September 28, 2009

Lives of Quiet Desperation

When I was 16 or 17, I first encountered the genius that is Henry David Thoreau in a high school junior level English course. While my friends lamented what they saw as the pointlessness and tedious nature of Walden, with exclamations like, "Who CARES about ants in a fight?!?" and "Man, this guy sure likes to be alone...", I was struck in a way I was yet unable to understand by the simplicity, beauty, and absolute common sense behind what I was reading. Though it would take years for my youthfulness to wear away the many layers, from somewhere within, this song, awakened by Thoreau's writings, began the little scritch-scritch-scratch on the windows of my soul.

Some years later, as a college student in the great C.R. Cluff's American Renaissance course, I found the man again, and this time, it took. As I read Walden Pond, I found myself filling the pages with exclamation marks, highlights, post its and notes to myself--it was impossible for me to find the important parts, because frankly, it was all important to me. This venture into simplicity, this journey into the self and a quest for freedom from "convenience" struck me to the core. Though there have been moments where Thoreau slips to the back burner, he always finds his way forward again. And each time I am struck at the truth in his words--the wisdom, the reason, the simplicity that is found there. I find religion in what he teaches--I see in his words the things that the Lord would have me do. I find practical advice, and I find what my heart has spent so much time searching for. I realized that like the mass of men spoken of by Thoreau, we have been leading a life of quiet desperation. This blog is my effort at more fully living his advice and escaping that desperation.

My husband and I have reached a crossroads. We are about to embark on what we hope will be a remarkable journey and are seeking freedom from some of the "conveniences" of life. I am seeking a simpler way. I am seeking peace with myself, my home, my children, my faith. We are not abandoning our lives to live in the woods, nor are we seeking refuge from society as a whole. But we are hoping to find ways to strike the balance between what is enough, and what consumerism tells us we need--we are seeking freedom from our stuff, we are on the road to owning our own lives. So with the Lord on my side, and a bit of practical advice and words of wisdom from the man at Walden Pond, we begin....


  1. I love it. I'm so glad that you've started a blog, not only will this give us the opportunity to stay in touch but it will give me the opportunity into your world of writing. I truly love how you speak and write. It's intriguing. It pulled me in and I wanted more.

    To many more posts.

  2. Incredible. This is so well written and fantastic. I cannot wait to keep up with this blog. May you be blessed to continue on your journey and to keep us involved every step of the way! :)

  3. I know I told you about this, but I thought you might enjoy the original story. Here's the link:

  4. So happy you started a blog!! I'm excited to read more and more!

  5. Great Kierra! I can't wait to read and catch up on your posts. I have always been a fan of your writing. We too have tired to live a simpler way: one car, mostly garden eating, less meat, less shopping (used if we do have to shop), and it is SO GREAT to be free from debt and free from what the world says we HAVE to have. I'll be a regular reader!


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