My dear Jim

Jack Delano, “Flagman walks back to flag any oncoming trains…” (1943)

Do not wear your soul out with tears but be as usually brave and look hopefully to the future.

— Letter to James Joyce from his mother (quoted in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce)

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion…The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried…Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

“What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman…”

“…will we walk all night through solitary streets?
The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?…”

“A Supermarket in California” (excerpt), Allen Ginsberg