‘Carved by effort and grace.’

    April 4, 2017

    Introduction to Walt Whitman’s journal, Specimen Days, by Leslie Jamison:

    ‘Whitman initially journeyed to the battlefields of the Civil War for personal reasons. After seeing a name he feared was his brother George listed among wartime casualties, in December 1962, he headed to Fredericksburg, where he discovered George had only suffered minor facial lacerations. But this was just the beginning. Whitman started visiting soldiers in hospitals-tens of thousand, all told-and doing what he could: writing letters to families, dressing wounds, bringing treats-rice pudding or blackberry syrup. He once distributed ice cream to all eighteen wards of Carver Hospital.

    The goal of a life is to have nothing essential left by the time it leaves its body, the way a flame uses up its wick. This is not sad but as it should be.

    -Mark Nepo

    Let’s be honest 

    which doesn’t mean

    being harsh, but gentle.


    Let’s be clear

    which doesn’t mean being dispassionate, but

    holding each other up

    in the face of what is true.


    Let’s be enduring

    which doesn’t mean

    being important or famous,

    but staying useful like a wheel

    worn by rain after years of

    carrying each other’s burdens.

    -Mark Nepo

    Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.



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