Friday, November 2, 2007

Dismiss whatever insults your own soul

This is what I wrote a few days ago and below is a Walt Whitman poem that I have been thinking about this week. The two of them, although they just met, have sat down for tea in my mind. Wonder what kind of tea they are having?
Sigh. Deep body tired sigh.
It's finished.
Not cosmically, not of growth or development.
The beginnings are finished.
I will always know that once in my life
I fully voiced that which previously was unvoiceable.
Despite fears
I stepped in to the zone of bravery
and lived.
And now?

- by me
And this part of my heart sits down with the below heart. I see hints at answers to some of my questions in it. The line that stands out to me in this is "Dismiss whatever insults your own soul". What does that mean? The first thing I think of is the book my folks gave me, it insults my soul. I also love the line "stand up for the stupid and crazy". I wish I did that more! I want to be this sort of person....
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labors to others,
Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people,
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,
Reexamine all you have been told,
At school at church or in any book,
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
- Walt Whitman
O and I had a major impulse buy when I purchased the new Annie Lennox CD at Starbucks this a.m. "Songs of Mass Destruction". So far I'm most intrigued with the title "through the glass darkly" being that's a biblical reference that I think about often lately.

3 comments:

Zuzu said...

Isn't that interesting... I think about that "through the glass, darkly" all the time.... have for years. Now what? you ask... of course, I could never know "now what" for you... but it came to mind that "now what" is that you know it doesn't destroy you, not any part of you, and even though it might hurt - that's merely growing pains.. a strange "good hurt," and there's scar tissue there too... which is stronger than skin and less tender, which isn't always bad. And when you continue to leave with such authentic honesty, it gets easier and you get stronger and .... ultimately (I believe) happier, more joyful, wiser, more powerful (the kind of power than can change the world.. make it a better place, allow you to defend crazy people...). Just my two cents. - Zu

Anonymous said...

I love "Dismiss whatever insults your own soul". I've been trying to be impenetrable to things my dad said all week. Sometimes thinking of it in a particular way helps get the job done. I'm going to have to remember that line.

ms26

just me - titration said...

zu - yeah, that line "through the glass darkly" is so good and poetic. :) Thanks for the kind words.... your two cents is something to hope for.

And ms26 - I like how you say things have been impenetrable with your dad. That's a really visual way of saying that. And yes... I do like that line even though I don't exactly know what it means for me.