Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Wells Brown are both in Europe now, seeing the sights, meeting people, writing their observations and travel notes. One is a free man, wondering what freedom really is. The other is a fugitive, who knows what freedom is, or thinks he does. This leaves us to ask the reader of these two books if he knows. And he replies by saying that whatever he knows, and whatever he does not know, has already been revealed, for in writing it is impossible to hide what one is. If the truth about him is hidden, it is hidden only from himself.
December 16, 2020
In Lieu Of
When I think of the vast number of Christmas cards my mother sent and that our family received each year during my childhood, and the quiet labor involved, the patience, the thought, and the care that went into the process, and at the same time how every penny counted, and how hard both of my parents were working all through those years, and how hospitable they were, and how happily and naturally they welcomed company at any hour, I smile. And so now, it’s hardly a surprise that I still read and write daily, and do things the slow way, everything from scratch, as it were. And while we don’t send Christmas cards, we do send our love. That it’s but a click away is easy to take for granted. First we’re distracted, then we’re subtracted, and then we’re gone. Don’t you be the one.
Recently Banned Literature, April 19, 2018
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Tags: Childhood, Christmas, Diaries, Emerson, Freedom, Gratitude, Journals, Library of America, Love, Memory, Miracles, My Father, My Mother, Patience, Reading, Slavery, William Wells Brown, Work, Writing