So wild flowers will come
up where you are.
You have been stony for
too many years.
Try something different.
For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
~ James Baldwin
Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.
For some they come in with the tide.
For others they sail forever on the horizon,
never out of sight,
never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away
his dreams mocked to death by Time.
That is the life of men.
Now, women forget all those things
they don’t want to remember,
and remember everything they don’t want to forget.
The dream is the truth.
Here is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and the crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem…
From the preface to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1855
“But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”
~ Edith Wharton, “The Fulness of Life”