Friday, January 1, 2010


And why shouldn't we all be happy today—we're alive aren't we? I know there's terribly sad and complicated circumstances in most of our lives on some level, and that for some of us, or some of those we love, 2010 may be their last year. And I know that suffering and deep disappointment can twist the heart into hazardous shapes that sometimes feel impossible to untangle.

For any and all in that kind of mental or emotional or psychological or physical pain, I offer sincere sympathy. But for myself, unable to do anything more than eat and carry on a limited kind of discourse only a few weeks ago due to my traumatized brain, and now with most of my motor and cognitive capacities restored, I think of these simple lines from Walt Whitman's LEAVES OF GRASS that I've quoted before and probably will again:

"(It seems to me that everything in the light and air ought to be happy,
Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave let him know he has enough.)"


-K- said...

I went to my copy of "Leaves of Grass' and found that I had underlined these lines as well.

I recall from a Whitman biography that at one time there were 'Whitman societies' that used "Leaves as Grass" as a sort of religious text.

Lally said...

Yeah, I've more or less been using LEAVES OF GRASS that way since I was a teenager and first discovered it.

Elisabeth said...

These are such wonderful words, Michael. So many times I have thought, it is easier by far to be dead than too be alive and yet to be alive is everything.