Here in the Gila Valley, the end of August continues to be green and spectacular. As part of celebrating Walt Whitman Month (something entirely made up), I’d like to quote his prescription for a good life. From the preface to Leaves of Grass:
This is what you shall do. Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor 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—re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.
It is essential Whitman that we move in a long sentence from the earth and sun to the skin between eyelashes.