I have often puzzled over the difference between a brave man and a man who is not brave, and it is a thing that will always baffle me. Indeed, I dislike to say this man is brave and that man a coward, because often a man will do a cowardly thing that requires more courage in the doing than a brave thing. There are many who have done brave things because they were afraid to do the cowardly things they would have preferred to do. Also some are cowards about fighting but heroes over money; some brave before audiences but cowardly alone; some brave alone but cowardly before audiences; some deadly afeared of sickness but contemptuous of a storm at sea, and so on. When I think about these things, my brain is muddled; and I arrive at no conclusion, save that every man, somewhere, has in him the spark of bravery.
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from "Waterlily Fire" by Muriel Rukeyser
Whatever can happen to anyone can happen to me.
Fire striking its word among us, waterlilies
Reaching from darkness upward to a sun
Of rebirth, the implacable. And in our myth
The Changing Woman who is still and who offers.
Eyes drinking light, transforming light, this day
That struggles with itself, brings itself to birth.
In ways of being, though silence, sources of light
Arriving behind my eye, a dialogue of light.
And everything a witness of the buried life.
This moment flowing across the sun, this force
Of flowers and voices body in body through space.
The city of endless cycles of the sun.
I speak to you You speak to me