Saturday, January 19, 2008

gained, but I don't want to write about it

So I gained 2.8 pounds. Insert lame exuses here: _______________

I don't feel like wasting my time writing excuses/apologies/self-flagellations. I gained a couple of pounds and I am completely aware of the reasons. Reading that kind of stuff is no more inspirational than writing it would be, so I thought I'd share something more hopeful and happy this weekend.

I was poking around on a friend's del.icio.us links and stumbled across an online edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. I had read bits of it in college as an English major, but I saw it as dull required reading. Looking at it again, I realized how timeless and amazing this stuff was. I'm sharing a few scattered lines here from "Poem of You, Whoever You Are" below, which reminds us that almost 200 years ago, Walt Whitman thought we were all fantastically perfect. These snippets are pulled from a much longer poem:

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you,
that you be my poem,
I whisper with my lips close to your ear,
I have loved many women and men, but I love
none better than you.

...

There is no endowment in man or woman that is
not tallied in you,
There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman
but as good is in you,
No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is
in you,
No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal plea-
sure waits for you.

...

O I have been dilatory and dumb,
I should have made my way straight to you long
ago,
I should have blabbed nothing but you, I should
have chanted nothing but you.
I will leave all, and come and make the hymns
of you;
None have understood you, but I understand you,
None have done justice to you, you have not done
justice to yourself,
None but have found you imperfect, I only find no
imperfection in you,
None but would subordinate you, I only am he
who will never consent to subordinate you,
I only am he who places over you no master,
owner, better, god, beyond what waits intrin-
sically in yourself.

...

O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about
you!
You have not known what you are—you have
slumbered upon yourself all your life,
Your eye-lids have been as much as closed most
of the time,
What you have done returns already in mock-
eries,
Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not
return in mockeries, what is their return?

...


Old, young, male, female, rude, low, rejected by
the rest, whatever you are promulges itself,
Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are
provided, nothing is scanted,
Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance,
ennui, what you are picks its way.

1 comment:

  1. It was a pleasure to reread Walt Whitman again. Thanks for posting that.

    You've had a stressful week. I also think you've had a stressful several months.

    It's very bewildering to leave a community that you're familiar with to step out in the "real" world to a job, commute, and move. It is not something that's easily done. I commuted at one time to downtown DC -- even though I didn't drive, I was totally wiped out each day. And I was 24.

    I'm glad you're being good to yourself and just remember, we all hit road bumps. That's what this is -- a temporary road bump on a road that's under construction. You'll get there again. I know you will!

    ReplyDelete

"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07