Walt Whitman was born on this date in 1819.
After Walt Whitman there’s not much left to say. I remember reading Song of Myself in college and thinking there was nothing else. Filled to bursting with those words. Saying them over and over in my mind, memorizing without intending to. The words…the words…the words…became live inside of me, took form, became the thing they represented.
And today, the country in torment, exploding with the crazy that is our lives, our minds crazed with doubts and fears and anger and sadness and pain…today is for whatever it takes to get us through.
Today I’m listening to Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On” and reading me some Whitman, Song of Myself, “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
Sometimes you have to return to the old familiars when you don’t know what else to do. Sometimes you have to take comfort in old wounds, in old grief. Sometimes you just run out of words. Sometimes despair doesn’t have a name.