We consider the bibles and religions divine . . . . I do not say they are not divine,
I say they have all grown out of you and may grow out of you still,
It is not they who give the life . . . . it is you who give the life;
Leaves are not more shed from the trees or trees from the earth than
they are shed out of you.
– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
I picked up the book after one confused moment following this video. Did Whitman really speak like that? I don’t know. But for all this song and dance, a few lines of poetry do more to tell us Whitman’s insight on our corporeality. Earlier on he writes,
“the sun and stars float in the open air…. the appleshaped earth and we upon it… surely the drift of them is something grand,”
“I do not know what it is except that it is grand, and that it is happiness.”
I think I’d rather leave it all here for now. Not the “why,” but the mystery.