vrijdag 15 april 2011

Thoreau and foraging for survival at Dark Mountain

Somewhere in the 1850ties Henry Thoreau wrote the following paragraph that 150 years later would be published in Wild Fruits (see earlier). It reads like a proto-transition town rave against globalisation and estrangement from nature. Here is a man who talks about foraging skills as the only thing that can help you survive when the immanent breakdown of society will come to pass. And notice how he describes cities at the end. What a style and compare with these quotes from Gary Snyder.
When La Mountain and Haddock dropped down in the Canada wilderness the other day, they came near starving, or dying of cold and wet and fatigue, not knowing where to look for food, nor how to shelter themselves. Thus far have we wandered from a simple and independent life. I think that a wise and independent, self reliant man will have a complete list of the edibles to be found in a primitive country or wilderness, a bill of fare, in his waistcoat pocket at least, to say nothing of matches and warm clothing, so that he can commence a systematic search for them without loss of time. They might have had several frogs apiece if they had known how to find them. Talk about tariffs and protection of home industry, so as to be prepared for wars and hard times! Here we are, deriving our breadstuffs from the west, our butter stuffs from Vermont, and our tea and coffee and sugar stuffs, and much more with which we stuff ourselves stuffs, from the other side of the globe. Why, a truly prudent man will carry such a list as the above, in his mind at least, even though he walk through Broadway or Quincy Market. He will know what are the permanent resources of the land and be prepared for the hardest of times. He will go behind cities and their police; he will see through them. Is not the wilderness of mould and dry rot forever invading and threatening them? They are but a camp abundantly supplied today, but gnawing their old shoes tomorrow.

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