Walt and Annie, also on Fear and Swimming

"Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,

Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,

To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair."

(Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself," Section 46)

"I lived on the beach with one foot in fatal salt water and one foot on a billion grains of sand. The brink of the infinite there was too like writing's solitude. Each sentence hung over an abyssal ocean or sky which held all possibilities, as well as the possibility of nothing."

(Annie Dillard, The Writing Life, p. 89)