Monday, March 17, 2014

So the name of this blog is taken from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," and the longer I live, the more I think Whitman got it right.

When I was younger, I was slightly embarrassed by his florid language, and naked emotion, and almost drunken embrace of life in all its multitudes.  But now I find a deep wisdom in Whitman's unabashed joy in life and language; in the championing of his silly, broken, beautiful, fellow citizens; and in his celebration of our inextricable connections with each other and with the natural world.

On a personal level, reading Whitman reminds me to try to let go of the garbage of small resentments, and the constant pull to get. things. done.  To remember the importance of pleasure, in its many manifestations, to our happiness and our humanity - and the importance of sharing and spreading that happiness and humanity where I can.

In a wider sense, Whitman's generosity of spirit toward all Americans, and an ethos that regards human beings as connected rather than as atomized individuals, inform my embrace of liberal politics.  I'd far rather live Whitman's world than Ayn Rand's.  And I refuse to let the reactionaries on the right enact Rand's nightmare world without fighting back in whatever small way I can.

So this blog is my way of sounding my own barbaric yawp, and trying to bring a little more of Whitman's world into our own.

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