With Love

I was particularly struck by a poem posted by ivonprefontaine.com (Teacher As Transformer) yesterday.  As with most things evocative, we considered Derek Walcott’s words differently – which is why I didn’t reblog his words.

Once again, I am motivated by friends, for whom this will resonate individually.  Yet I hope above all, among the takeaways is a feeling of the tremendous value you have, the wonder that you offer up everyday and the love you deserve – from yourself first and foremost.

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome

and say, sit here.  Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine.  Give bread.  Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit.  Feast on your life.

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I’m really going to try to work on this…I need to.  You need to.  Let’s do it together, ok?  Happy Saturday all.

A Moment Of Inanity

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This is a quetzal

I think it’s quite special

With colors so spectacular

There is no apt vernacular

 

So would you ask a quetzal

“Polly, do you want a pretzel?”

Or would you offer this cool avian

Something healthy vegetarian?

 

In it’s native Guatemala

Perhaps you’d start to holler

“No food for you as you well know

If no shoes, no shirt,  no dinero”

 

At 3:15, one can’t expect a post far more germane

More witty, cogent, thoughtful not to mention more urbane

Perhaps it’s best I bid the quetzal ‘adios’ for now

And leave you with a sleepy smile, returning to my bough.

With Apologies To Ogden Nash

If you’ve ever had sciatica

Or other throes rheumatica

You’ll understand it when I say

My nerves are screaming “Attica!”

Such inflammation takes its time

Plays havoc with a peaceful mind

Reducing my thought processes

To plebian words and rhyme

 

Since sitting isn’t optional

Typing supine not optimal

I’ll go in search of heating pads

And accept this posture comical

 

“How To Be Perfect”

English: Logo of NPR News.

English: Logo of NPR News. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday morning, driving to the gym and listening to NPR.  At that hour of the morning, Garrison Keillor presents ‘The Writer’s Almanac‘ providing interesting factoids about authors that would ensure victory in a game of Trivial Pursuit, if only I would remember them.  He then reads from the ‘Poet’s Corner‘ – and I literally had to pull over to listen to his gentle voice intone excerpts from Ron Padgett‘s poem “How To Be Perfect”.  Given my post yesterday, the juxtaposition was almost eerie and definitely surprising in the best of all possible ways.  I wanted to share it with you, for in keeping with the belief that we could be a bit kinder to ourselves in many areas and more honest with ourselves in others – there is no one who can communicate this like Ron Padgett.

Excerpts from “How To Be Perfect”

Get some sleep.

Eat an orange every morning.

Be friendly.  It will help make you happy.

Hope for everything.  Expect nothing.

 

Take care of things close to home first.  Straighten your room

before you save the world.  Then save the world.

Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.

 

Don’t stay angry about anything, for more than a week, but don’t

forget what made you angry.  Hold you anger at arm’s length

and look at it. as if it were a glass ball.  Then add it to your glass

ball collection.

 

Wear comfortable shoes.

Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.

Plan your day so you never have to rush.

 

Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if

you have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.

 

After dinner, wash the dishes.

Calm down.

Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.

Don’t be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.

Don’t think progress exists.  It doesn’t.
Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do

anything to make it impossible.

Forgive your country every once in a while.  If that is not

possible, go to another one.

 

If you feel tired, rest.

Don’t be depressed about growing older.  It will make you feel

even older.  Which is depressing.

Do one thing at a time.

 

If you burn your finger, put ice on it immediately.  If you bang

your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for 20

minutes.  You will be surprised by the curative powers of ice and

gravity.

 

Do not inhale smoke.

Take a deep breath.

Do not smart off to a policeman.

Be good.

Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.

Do not go crazy a lot.  It’s a waste of time.

Drink plenty of water.  When asked what you would like to

drink, say, “Water, please.”

 

Take out the trash.

Love life.

Use exact change.

When there’s shooting in the street, don’t go near the window.

 

Lots to think about, lots more to smile about.  Please let me know if this struck you as wonderfully as it affected me.  Here’s to a fun-filled, thoughtful Thursday!