You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
and of every moment of your life.
Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” Section 46
Walt Whitman comes to mind more these days than he did during my academic years. Again, age serves me well.
With no assignments for students or myself, mine is mere daily living, where timidity leads to fragility. I choose not to remain on shore for fear of survival.
I am not a smooth swimmer and never have been. In my youth and especially middle age I thrashed about, often in circles. Now, my stroke is slower, steadier.
I don’t know that it is easier to “habit” myself to the dazzle that is each day. I just think about it less and immerse myself in it.
I admit to having a plank or two within reach for when I am weary. Everyone needs to float a bit before catching the next wave.
But I do look for the dazzle of the light; in being blind, I become bold. It is my daily eclipse. Fearlessly, I invite the darkness, confident in the dazzle of its diamond ring.
Darkness confined by light. These are the waters of the bold swimmer.