Bounty

‘Make much of something small.

The pouring-out of tea,

a drying flower’s shadow on the wall

from last week’s bouquet.

A fact; it isn’t summer anymore.

Say that December sun

is pitiless, but crystalline

and strikes like a bell.

Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.

It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment

your broom has missed,

and lights upon each grain of sugar spilled

upon the tablecloth, beside

pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning paper on the floor,

and wafts of heat from rumbling radiators,

can this be all?  No look – here comes the cat,

with one ear inside out.

Make much of something small.  — ‘Bounty’ by Robyn Sarah

I receive “The Writer’s Almanac” in my inbox each morning and today’s poem seemed so appropriate as so many enjoy the holidays of the season.  I wish you love and hope and laughter, really good hugs, friends and family to share in your delight (and the food – I heard a rumor that if you share it, the calories are also divided amongst all who partake).  I wish you time to marvel at the small moments that should never go unnoticed, for they hold truths far larger than we can imagine.  I hope you get some drool-y naps in there too, awakened by the sounds of quiet commiseration between loved ones.  And of course, I hope you receive all that you wish for, and wish for all that you have.

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“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!