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What (and How) Do You Recollect? July 12, 2022

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Art, Books, Healing Stories, Life, Loss, Pain, Suffering, Tragedy, Yoga.
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“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”


– quoted from a journal entry dated August 5, 1851, as printed in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau: Journal, Walden Edition by Henry David Thoreau, compiled and edited by Franklin Benjamin Sanborn and Bradford Torrey

You’re probably familiar with that old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but what’s the value of a thousand words that paint a picture? Born today in 1817, in Concord Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau was a teacher and a writer, who is remembered as a writer and naturalist. He self-published his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (published May 30, 1849), which was the story of a trip he took with his brother John over 10 years before. Like Walden, or Life in the Woods, Thoreau’s first book was full of words that painted pictures. He was, after all, a “mental picture” taker.

After his brother died unexpectedly, Henry David Thoreau was undoubtedly comforted by the images formed by his words, but think of how he might have felt had he and John been born decades after George Eastman. Born today in 1854, in Waterville, New York, Eastman was an entrepreneur, inventor, and philanthropist who founded the Eastman Kodak Company. Like Thoreau, Eastman was familiar with unexpected loss – his father died when he was 8, one of his older sisters (Katie) died a few years later, and his father’s death resulted in the loss of the family farm. Perhaps, he too, found comfort in “mental pictures,” but he also developed a way for people to more easily take (and develop) photographs.

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth….”


– George Eastman

Click here to read more about Henry David Thoreau and George Eastman in my 2020 post (which includes a link, at the bottom, to my 2021 post about photos and “mere-exposure effect” (also known as the familiarity principle).

Please join me today (Tuesday, July 12th) at 12:00 PM or 7:15 PM for a yoga practice on Zoom. You can use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or (for a slightly faster reply) you can email me at myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Tuesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify. [Look for “07122020 Strenuous, Deliberate Life Photo”]

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

### “What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.” ~ GE ###