A contrast from the last two posts by Edward Young: Stephen Crane encounters a man, gnawing away at his own heart, self-destroying. Can he hear the word ‘friend’ addressed to him? It appears not. No small talk here!
It seems he has chosen self-centred bitterness over the friendship we have been reading about that would help draw him out of the bitterness of despair. But that risks getting hurt; it’s easier to like, or accept, bitterness than gamble on happiness. Edward Young makes it clear that friendship has to be cultivated; what can you cultivate in the desert?
Let’s pray for those consigned to the desert by the abuse they have suffered from other people’s malice or neglect.
In the Desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, “Is it good, friend?” “It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”