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.