11 February 1859

by layman k

Nature works by contraries. That which in summer was most fluid and unresting is now most solid and motionless. If in the summer you cast a twig into the stream it instantly moved along with the current, and nothing remained as it was. Now I see yonder along row of black twigs standing erect in mid-channel where two months ago a fisherman set them and fastened his lines to them. They stand there motionless as guide-posts while snow and ice are piled up about them.

Such is the cold skill of the artist. He carves a statue out of a material which is fluid as water to the ordi- nary workman. His sentiments are a quarry which he works .

I see only the chain of sunken boats passing round a tree above the, ice.

from the journals of Henry David Thoreau