The Darkness for the Stars: A Love Story of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson helps me to feel like there are greater things, greater forces out there.
It was a crisp fall day and in northern Florida, that actually meant something. The air was turning from the summer heat the autumn chill, and rusty leaves whirled up in gusts of wind along the side of the road.
Emma sat at the bus stop with me, her eyes intent upon the stapled packet in her hands. Last-minute reading for class. She seemed absorbed in it, eyes roving the page like it contained a glorious painting. We shared my headphones, one earbud for each of us, and bobbed our heads along to the soothing sounds of The Grateful Dead.
The bus chusped to a stop in front of us, lowering slightly to allow a person in a wheelchair to get off. I plucked the headphone out of Emma’s ear and boarded, her right behind me.
As soon as we sat down in a seat near the back, she said, “Sam, you have to read this.”
She proffered the packet. “Circles” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“It’s incredible,” she insisted.
And so I did. It took me almost the entirety of the bus ride, reading those long passages that wound and wound back upon themselves. But I got lost in it, same as she had, absorbed in the beauty and abundance of soul behind the words inscribed therein.
“I am only an experimenter. Do not set the least value on what I do, or the least discredit on what I do not, as if I pretended to settle any thing as true or false. I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker.” — Emerson
His words rattled me. I felt as though I could reach back in time to shake his hand, just for having written such a beautiful piece of art.
At the time, Emma was in a class devoted entirely to Ralph Waldo Emerson. She was my literature buddy, my fellow writing friend, and she shared every morsel of knowledge and beauty with me.