Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Build, therefore, your own world."

I write mostly to please myself, at least in this journal. But here's one for those of you looking to be inspired tonight. I have been reading a small book called "First We Read, Then We Write," by Robert D. Richardson. It is a book on Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the creative process.

I often quote short pieces of Emerson. But here is a longer effort that shows off his brilliance and his spirit at the same time. It comes from the essay called "Nature" and is quoted by Richardson in the epilogue to his book.

"Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world, and beyond its world a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only we can see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobbler's trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar's garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world."

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