Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles
The self is an ocean and we are lost in it without direction. If left to my own devices, what can I know to say? In the age of sociability, I am nearly friendless and incoherent. In my days of solitude I can hardly think that I have mastered the meaning and the force of another argument. There is much, maybe too much, hesitation. And I can speak but cannot add anything to the conversation.
There is a feeling that most everything has already been said. Emerson says of the American artist that matching the inclinations and temperaments of the landscape will meet us halfway to greatness.
But I am torn with envy of those who do not speak with interlopers. There are no teachers for the minds of the future other than the future, and those who adhere to eternal principles. To see the shape and contour of truth, of absolute truth, a person can find a form for it, somehow.
For all his roving self reliance, there is a presupposed community to rage against, or to forget. In the end, this is only an anecdotal band aid. But self-reliance is the language of America, whether it is just or fitting, it is the lexicon of our work and of the land and of ourselves. It demands that we become great minds and maintain as much of a strong, authentic body against the flabby mediocrity of the outside world as we can. It demands a cabin far away situated on the mountainside of a Romantic painted landscape. In reading self reliance we are looking at the insinuation of stars and fury and sweeping winds. But can we know them? Is our blessing to be a land replete with great men, or a continent of striving, tripping, starving neighborhoods that never met? In keeping with the dream of self-reliance, are we not keeping with another, earlier, perhaps sturdier but not stronger, America?