The least change in our point of view,
gives the world a pictorial air.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am still working hard to find the beauty in our backyard landscape, difficult though it is in this neverending cold. My shoes squelch in the mud formed by the (finally) melting snow. It is a yucky feeling.
The winter light renders everything as illuminated from within, and reminds me of another favorite Emerson passage:
A man should learn to detect and watch
that gleam of light
which flashes across his mind from within,
more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages.
Yet he dismisses without notice his thought,
because it is his.
In every work of genius
we recognize our own rejected thoughts;
they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this.
They teach is to abide by our spontaneous impression
with good humoured inflexibility then most
when the whole cry of voices is on the other side.
a stranger will say with masterly good sense
precisely what we have thought and felt the whole time,
and we shall be forced to take with shame
our own opinions from another.
It doesn’t roll trip-trappingly off the tongue, but it stands and roars to me;
it says that I matter as much as anyone else;
it says that I knowingly and willingly belittle myself
when I keep my opinion unspoken because it is mine,
just little old me, no one wants to hear from me;
it says that if I keep retreating, I go nowhere, and it is my own doing.
Teddy Roosevelt said, “All the resources we need are in the mind.”
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
I grew up in a house that reminded me, god, over and over, “You’re not so special.”
I cringed as I was told to shut up.
I was told “You think you’re so smart. But you’re not. Look, I’ve saved every crossword puzzle you failed to finish.” (I wish that was a joke.)
The words are inspiring, they call to me; they can only begin to instill feelings of worthiness in someone who has spent a lifetime feeling worthless.
It’s an uphill battle.