The Soul selects her own Society–
Then—shuts the Door—
To her divine Majority—
Unmoved—she notes the Chariots–pausing—
At her low Gate—
Unmoved-an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat–
I’ve known her–from an ample nation—
Then–close the Valves of her attention—
(Emily Dickinson, c. 1862)*
This poem reminds me of America in this moment. Our commitment to the individual and our belief in self-reliance are worthy qualities. Yet, our strength is usually our Achilles’ heel.
We struggle like two individuals standing on either side of a political chasm, selecting our own society.
And in the selection, we shut the door on all else.
*(Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson’s Poems, Selection and Introduction by Thomas H. Johnson, Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1961)