9 December 2014
Thoreau was right: «Better not keep a house». I have two in two different villages and the economic crisis hinders me from selling them: since 2008 people who buy are few. The bigger and more beautiful house is in bad repair: nothing more working, not even warm water; windows not air-tight etc; not quite winter-proof. The other one is in better repair but the internet key doesn’t catch enough signal indoors (there are thick medieval stone walls); it works outside, in front of the door, so I used to stand there holding my laptop and turning it to one side or the other to connect to the internet, with the power cable reaching the power point indoors. I have no line connection nor a smartphone, I seldom use telephone at all, never liked it. Now the weather is getting too cold and unpleasant both to stay in the bigger house and to stand outside the other one with the laptop in my hands; so I think I won’t recharge the internet key.
I won’t be any longer connected once a day, therefore I won’t be able to send green stars as often as I used to. Thanks a lot to all who sent them to me!
By the way, if you’re curious to see the street (it’s so narrow, that it scarcely deserves to be called a street nowadays) where I used to stand in front of the door with my laptop, it’s shown on YouTube: http://youtu.be/OFYnQxvT_g8
My door is the one with the painted cypresses, with the half-moon, with the painted dish and with the handwritten notice “vendesi” & “for sale”.
Daniela Bress, quite a genius in graphic, assembled my old-skeptic face, my Tuscan sunset, and a quotation from an author I had told her about. Thank you Daniela!
SOME QUOTATIONS from another brother of mine (he lived in the first half of the 19th century in Massachusetts), my favourite brother:
* There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, not even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.
* The poor rich man! all he has is what he has bought. What I see is mine.
* trade curses every thing it handles; and though you trade in messages from heaven, the whole curse of trade attaches to the business.
* It is remarkable what a serious business men make of getting their dinners, and how universally shiftlessness and a grovelling taste take refuge in a merely ant-like industry. Better go without your dinner, I thought, than be thus everlastingly fishing for it like a cormorant.
* This was sheer idleness to my fellow-townsmen, no doubt; but if the birds and flowers had tried me by their standard, I should not have been found wanting...
* Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.
* a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
* Is it impossible to combine the hardiness of these savages with the intellectualness of the civilized man?
* Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institutions, — such call I good books.
* I am not sure but I should betake myself in extremities to the liberal divinities of Greece, rather than to my country's God. Jehovah, though with us he has acquired new attributes, is more absolute and unapprochable, but hardly more divine, than Jove.
* There is no odor so bad as which arises from goodness tainted. It is human, it is divine, carrion. If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life, as from that dry and parching wind of the African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and nose and ears and eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me, — some of his virus mingled with my blood.
* I had rather keep bachelor's hall in hell than go board in heaven!