Yesterday Andrew, his mom, and I went to Lincoln for the afternoon. There was a show at the Clark Gallery called Picture Books, a collection of art that represented books in some way, from oil paintings of books to photographs of readers to sculptures with words written all over them.
As with many themed exhibits, the pieces were hit and miss, with a couple that were compelling. Fittingly, they had a used book sale going on outside, and we found books with some fantastic sci fi and noir covers, as well as an old medical text that instructed parents not to kiss their children because they would spread germs.
Afterward we went to Walden Pond. Despite having lived in the Boston area for over 10 years, I’d never been, and the last time Andrew went, he was 2 years old, and he ran off a dock and cannon balled into the water. We had no such adventures this time. It’s a lovely walk around the pond, and as we were walking, we noticed a beaver swimming along the edge, keeping pace with us, its flat tail turned sideways as a rudder.
The replica of Thoreau’s house was surprising. While I wasn’t expecting anything extravagant, I’d imagined one large room, like a log cabin, with open, empty space in the center, and his few belongings scattered throughout. Instead, it’s basically a tiny house, with a fireplace, stove, firewood, cot, and writing desk, all crammed together into a space that can be crossed in three strides. I wondered how he could write in such a dark, cramped space and then realized his desk faced a window that looked out on the woods and the water and the train tracks beyond. Although his lifestyle was simple, his perspective held all the complexity of human life.