in Thoreau’s Journal:
Nature and human life are as various to our several experiences as our constitutions are various— Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than if we should look through each other’s eyes for an instant. What I have read of Rhapodists—of the primitive poets—Argonautic expeditions—the life of demigods & heroes—Eleusinian mysteries—&c—suggests nothing so ineffably grand and informing as this would be.
We know not what it is to live in the open air—our lives are domestic in more senses than we had thought. From the hearth to the field is a great distance. A man should always speak as if there were no obstruction not even a mote or a shadow between him & the celestial bodies. The voices of men sound hoarse and cavernous—tinkling as from out of the recesses of caves—enough to frighten bats & toads—not like bells—not like the music of birds, not a natural melody.
Of all the Inhabitants of Concord I know not one that dwells in nature.— If one were to inhabit her forever he would never meet a man. This country is not settled nor discovered yet.