with humanities scholar  Clay S. Jenkinson
                                                                   Telephone 208-791-8721 ~ Fax 208-746-06255   email bek@odytours.net


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                           "To Live Deliberately"
                                  Lochsa Lodge Winter Retreat 2017
                                                with humanities scholar  Clay S. Jenkinson
                                  NOTE FROM CLAY

Lochsa Lodge Retreats

In his chapter on reading, Thoreau writes, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book?” Walden is one of America’s greatest and most important books. It is also easily misunderstood and dismissed, by those who wonder how authentic Thoreau could have been if he took his laundry to Mrs. Emerson in Concord. Walden has been one of my favorite books since 1973, when I read it for the first of twenty times.

In this retreat we examine Thoreau’s masterpiece slowly, reading it on tiptoe (as he insists), with an eye to the challenge Walden represents to America’s habits of the heart. Participants are urged to memorize a short passage from the book to start one of our morning or afternoon conversations. And what better place to read Walden than at Lochsa Lodge in Idaho (not far west of Missoula, MT), where Thoreau’s insistence on reducing life to simplicity, to its “lowest terms,” is inevitable in the heart of the Bitterroot Mountains in winter.

If I had to name a Fahrenfeit 451 book, at least an American book, it would certainly be Walden.

We take walks in the snow, cook soup and stew and berry cobbler in Dutch ovens around the fire; discuss Walden with the kind of leisure, attention, rigor, and playfulness that it requires; visit a hot springs along one of the most beautiful streams in Idaho; and explore the challenges of American life in the early 21st century.

In January 2017, we will also read The Tempest together, partly because Shakespeare raises some of the same questions Thoreau does, in an entirely different form.

Clay Jenkinson



with humanities scholar  Clay S. Jenkinson
208-791-8721 ~ Fax 208-746-0625   email bek@odytours.net