With fresh curiosity

I picked this book up recently at a book exchange in Chicago. In a case of judging a book by its cover, I decided that something this psychedelic deserved to be seen by anyone who would be interested. It’s a magenta background, with the word “Diaries” written in a green and a yellow font, and reflected across one another horizontally. You can see it if you look for it, but otherwise it’s just a trippy mess.

The book was a reading program, apparently aimed at high school students, published by Houghton Mifflin (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 1973. But there are some interesting stories inside, and the most interesting of all–from my perspective, at least–is a series or writings from the Journal of Henry David Thoreau. Since sunsets have been a frequent topic discussed in this space, I’m including an entry from January 7, 1852:

“We never tire of the drama of sunset. I go forth each afternoon and look into the west a quarter of an hour before sunset, with fresh curiosity, to see what new picture will be painted there, what new panorama exhibited, what new dissolving views. Can Washington Street or Broadway ever show anything as good? Each day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls…”

I couldn’t describe a sunset any better than Thoreau does. But that won’t keep from trying, every chance that I get.

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