Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Whitmanic cosmic embrace

Will Durant (1885-1981), who wrote the voluminous Story of Civilization and the more compact Story of Philosophy (which an undergrad prof of mine dissed, but which I still credit with lighting my fire for philosophy back in the '70s), in his late-life testament Fallen Leaves:
I am abnormally excited by  any form of beauty; I am a nuisance to those who accompany me on my walks  because I'm always enthusing about something lovely or sublime - white clouds in a blue sky, or the honeyed fragrance of sweet alyssum, or the bright face of a passing youth, or the splendor of a tall, straight elm spreading its branches as if in a Whitmanic cosmic embrace.
I can relate, and I aspire to be that kind of old man in a few decades. I'm adding him to my collection of inspiring seniors.

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