I’m troubled by life – and then Walt Whitman

I don’t know how know how maintain hope in the face of the onslaught of the news. World news and the micro news of friends in pain. My own pain and loss. I wonder how I can keep going. I can, but I wonder how anyone can – and we do. Just coping day after day? Then I read this…

I am he that walks with the tender and growing
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night.
Press close barebosomed night! Press close magnetic
nourishing night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night! Mad naked summer night!
Smile O voluptuous coolbreathed earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset! Earth of the mountains
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged
with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer
for my sake!
Far-swooping elbowed earth! Rich apple-blossomed
Smile, for your lover comes!

Prodigal! you have given me love!…therefore I to
you give love!
O unspeakable passionate love!
You sea! I resign myself to you also…I guess what
you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together…I undress…hurry
me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft…rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet…I can repay you.
Sea of stretched ground-swells!
Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths!
Sea of the brine of life! Sea of unshoveled and al-
ways-ready graves!
Howler and scooper of storms! Capricious and dainty
I am integral with you…I too am of one phase and
of all phases.


And then this, that probably got Whitman going…

“The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows…”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Walking




“Nature” is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and published by James Munroe and Company in 1836. In the essay Emerson put forth the foundation of transcendentalism, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature.

Transcendental… I don’t think so.

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