[I've been reading some of Ralph's writings lately and am completely caught up with him. What a guy.]
If you haven’t read Emerson, stop now and spend a summer
or a long autumn getting in a good 900 pages or so.
At least his essential works.
And then come back to this line.
Read on, now, remembering to hitch your cart to a star,
that the drop is a small ocean and that prayer is the contemplation of life from the highest point of view.
His friends and neighbors, his biographers and eulogists, no one can resist mentioning that he was a sweet man.
A genius, a prolific writer, a philosopher, a mystic, a sweet man.
So if we think of him as a peach, let’s think of ourselves as hopeful pits.
And forgive ourselves for putting the price of things and their value in a confused argument.
Let’s thank every poem for being written, even the bad ones and the ones you didn’t get the meaning of. Even this one.
Smile knowing that Emerson praised Walt Whitman, but asked him to be less sexual in his writing.
And think of Whitman touching himself with one hand while writing with the other.
Feel the break where he kept listening to his friend, his mentor, but knew he wouldn’t change.
How could he?
Follow the clues that are keys to your own self-quarrels, your own predicament.
Attach common words to startling ideas and see what happens.
Remember that Emerson was a preacher who admitted to his unhappy but polite congregation, I don’t really believe this stuff.