We had trundled into Concord after a long drive from New Hampshire, and after a tour of the museum, some victuals and ale at a local tavern, and a frantic tour of Walden Pond, I went by myself to Emerson’s house while everyone else traipsed among the tombstones at Sleepy Hollow. The house was closed for tours, so I circled it and marveled at its white frame with black shutters, offset by a cerulean sky dappled with wisps of cotton-candy clouds. At the back, by the barn, I saw Emerson himself tending to a horse and stood transfixed. My first thought was, My, what a regal nose! Despite his labors, not a drop of sweat collected on his brow or stained his overalls. I could hear high-pitched howls and a rattle like a skeleton collapsing on itself. He turned to look at me, smiling, and pointed to the sky. There was a great transparent eyeball whirling like a plasma lamp, crackling with energy, gathering in its purview the cloud wisps and sky, Concord tinted in its summer foliage and America beyond.