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Dedicated to Filomena, Sheila, and Freisha.

Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again.
​                                 ​- Longfellow, A Psalm of Life

“I didn’t know what I was searching for. The only thing I knew was something was keeping me dissatisfied. Something wasn’t making my heart smooth and easy. Then one day my daddy gave me a song. That song had weight to it that was hard to handle. That song was hard to carry. I fought against it. Didn’t want to accept that song. I tried to give my daddy back his song. But I found it wasn’t his song. It was my song. It had come from deep inside me. I looked back in memory and gathered up pieces and snatches of things to make that song. I was making it up out of myself. And that song helped me on the road. Made it smooth to where my footsteps didn’t bite back at me. All the time that song getting bigger and bigger. It got so I used all of myself up in the making of that song. Then I was the song in search of itself.”
                        ​                ​- Bynum, from August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

“Thou knowest my years entire, my life,
(My long and crowded life of active work—not adoration merely);
Thou knowest the prayers and vigils of my youth;
Thou knowest my manhood’s solemn and visionary meditations;
Thou knowest how, before I commenced, I devoted all to come to Thee;
Thou knowest I have in age ratified all those vows, and strictly kept them;
Thou knowest I have not once lost nor faith nor ecstasy in Thee;
(In shackles, prison’d, in disgrace, repining not,
Accepting all from Thee—as duly come from Thee).”
                                 — Walt Whitman, Prayer of Columbus