Monday, September 17, 2012

Solace in Walt Whitman's River, My University's Bench

The other day I stood in front of what used to be the offices of the Brooklyn Eagle, a newspaper edited by Walt Whitman.  I saw this inscription and it reminded me of another one of my favorite inscriptions on a stone bench at my alma mater, Cornell University (so maybe I've mentioned this bench one or one hundred times before.)

The Brooklyn Eagle inscription:

I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence.  Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt...Walt Whitman, crossing Brooklyn ferry

The bench inscription:

To those who shall sit here rejoicing; To those who shall sit here mourning; Sympathy and greeting; so have we done in our time. 1892

Not to sound all hippy dippy sighy but I find peace in these special spots, looking at these words.  There's great comfort in knowing that others have survived our hurt and experienced our joy.


  1. LOVE these. What powerful quotes. And yes, it is peaceful to know that all the drama and pain and love in our lives has happened to others before us, somehow.

  2. You don't sound hippy dippy to me :) Our trials are what connect us to each other. I can know someone because we have been through the same things. Love your spirit Melissa :)

  3. You’re right - those are both very soothing sentiments. Sometimes it’s good to know we aren’t alone in our human condition.