Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/94

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MY LIFE AND LOVES.

Faith had left me and with faith, hope in Heaven or indeed in any future existence: saddened and fearful, I was as one in prison with an undetermined sentence; but now in a moment the prison had become a paradise, the walls of the actual had fallen away into frames of entrancing pictures. Dimly I became conscious that if this life were sordid and mean, petty and unpleasant, the fault was in myself and in my blindness. I began then for the first time to understand that I myself was a magician and could create my own fairyland, ay and my own heaven, transforming this world into the throne-room of a god!

This joy, and this belief I want to impart to others more than almost anything else, for this has been to me a new Gospel of courage and resolve and certain reward, a man's creed teaching that as you grow in wisdom and courage and kindness, all good things are added unto you.

I find that I am outrunning my story and giving here a stage of thought and belief that only became mine much later; but the beginning of my individual soul-life was this experience, that I had been blind to natural beauty and now could see; this was the root and germ, so to speak, of the later faith that guided all my mature life, filling me with courage and spilling over into hope and joy ineffable.

Very soon the first command of it came to my lips almost every hour: "Blame your own blindness! always blame yourself!"