(previous Blogger post, August 14, 2006, Monday)

Why is my blog’s URL such? It comes from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, from his book Leaves of Grass. The book’s title probably came from this line. Here’s the particular stanza from the poem:
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren,
And the tree-toad is a chef-d’oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven,
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery,
And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.

Walt Whitman is my favorite poet. I’m not a poet (though I wish I had that gift), but I do read poetry once in a while and I have discovered Walt Whitman to be my poetic alter ego. If I were to be a poet, I would probably write about the same things and in the same way as Whitman. He doesn’t write of the unfathomable, and it reflects in his style. He writes of simple things, of human nature, animals, nature, sceneries and life in general. He writes in a language easily understandable to anyone who knows English.

And the blog’s title and description? I’ll be writing about anything under the sun really. Long live the imagination, liberty, love, poetry was actually my unconscious motto that I only realized when I read that line in the book The Republic of Dreams. I actually bought that book primarily because of its unique presentation. It had the feel of a travel book with actual passport, postcards, and telegrams. It was actually about a fictitious nation called Reves, where the only requirement for citizenship is boundless imagination. Wow, I would love to live in such a place! I am such a dreamer that one of the things I hate to see is creativity limited by practical concerns. I worked in a design agency and that was our daily struggle.

I have never been able to read only one book at a time (blame it on short attention span), so I found myself combining Leaves of Grass and The Republic of Dreams. An eclectic combination, really. One deals with the most simple, practical and mundane and the other is all about the imagination. They’re not really that different however, since Whitman is such a wordsmith that he makes the mundane poetic and romantic. He and Crimmins are also able to make me visualize their words. Whitman writes about the insects in the air, wildflowers, vines and weeds and I see them myself. Crimmins’ main character walks along Rue de Quivering Shadows then goes to a café on Hand in Hand Avenue in the island of Reves situated between the Sea of Clouds and the Sea of the Unseen and I am right there with him.

Someday I wish to write a story that would affect even only one reader the way the way these books have captured my fancy. I echo the sentiments of other writers and artists that art is increasingly being shoved aside in favor of economics. Finding a balance is the key. A little imagination won’t hurt. I hope that people won’t be afraid to embrace the illogical and the irrational because sometimes, these are the beginnings of greatness.

Now, if only I could find the grit to finish those stories and the courage to turn them over to readers.