Tim and I

In researching Emily’s poem #196, I learned that the “Tim” in her poetry is thought to have been an alter-ego of hers. Recognizing as she did, the inequities that existed between girls and boys/males and females during her time, she was often outspoken about them in her home. In public she wasn’t perceived as boyish, but inside her home, by her own family, her behavior was often likened to that of a “rascal boy”. Beginning in 1862 she wrote quite a few poems in a masculine voice.

My Carol and Emily poem #196 is dedicated to a dear friend of mine named Tim, whose physical body left this world far too soon. His spirit still lives on, in his children, grandchildren, family and friends, and precious memories of a really good guy live on in my heart. We miss you Tim ❤

The last time we were together, he took me to see some land he wanted to buy and shared his dream of starting an airboat business, taking tourists for rides on the St. John’s River and through the swamps and marshes of its estuaries. Although that dream was never realized, I can see him with that pirate smile on his face, doing that and thriving, something he spent many post-Vietnam years attempting to do.

Art by R. L. Lewis


Patterson, Rebecca. “Emily Dickinson’s ‘Double’ Tim: Masculine Identification.” American Imago, vol. 28, no. 4, 1971, pp. 330–362. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/26302664. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.

The Soul Selects Her Own Society

Emily Dickinson didn’t shy away from the big subjects in her poetry. Human nature, self identity, religion, death and the dualistic nature of our existence (body and soul) come up frequently. Spending so much time alone seems to have given her the opportunity to be very in touch with her inner self. In her poem #303, she declares that the soul chooses who it lets in that inner circle of self and that no outside entity, man or institution, should have that power. I wholeheartedly agree.

In his book titled Anam Cara : A Book of Celtic Wisdom, the late Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue wrote about the ancient Gaelic term “anam cara”, which means “soul friend”. When we really connect with people, somehow we just know that we were meant to cross paths. We can feel it deep inside, in our soul. We call these people our soulmates, our best friends, our forever friends. Neither time nor distance seem to weaken the bond we share with them. We can be our truest, mask-less selves with these people and they do not desert us, ever. Like a robin builds a nest for her babies, soul friends offer a soft place for the other to land.

Wishing you all an “anam cara”.


Anam Cara and the Essence of True Friendship: Poet and Philosopher John O’Donohue on the Beautiful Ancient Celtic Notion of Soul-Friend – Brain Pickings