A Passage from Emerson

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied and it satisfies nature in all moments alike. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson
from the essay “Self Reliance”

Categorized as quote

By Beau

Painter, designer (print and digital) since the twentieth century.


    1. Thanks for reading, Lindsay! My re-reading of Emerson (and others) has lately given respite to eyes made sore by gnarly social media feeds and the doom-saying of the 24 hour media.

      1. I’m re-reading some classics as well. Just finished “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and began “The Trial of Socrates.” Not only is it important to get away from the constant news buzz (radio, TV, social media, etc.), I find I have an entirely different perspective now on these classics. One can only hope that this period of human history will be brief.

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