Every morning, cup of coffee
in hand, I look out at the mountain.
Ordinarily, it’s blue, but today
it’s the color of an eggplant.
And the sky turns
from gray to pale apricot
as the sun rolls up…
I study the cat’s face
and find a trace of white
around each eye, as if
he made himself up today
for a part in the opera.
~Jane Kenyon, from “In Several Colors” from Collected Poems.
If you notice anything
it leads you to notice
I was so full of energy.
I was always running around, looking
at this and that.
If I stopped
If I stopped and thought, maybe
the world can’t be saved,
~Mary Oliver from “The Moths” from Dream Work
I try to see things in a new way as I wander about my day,
my eyes scanning for how to transform all my
mundane, dusty corners exposed by a penetrating sunbeam
when its angle is just right.
My attempts to describe plain ordinary as extraordinary
feels futile in a messed-up upside-down world.
Such efforts can be painful:
it means getting tired and muddy in the muck,
falling down again and again
and being willing to get back up.
If I stop getting dirty,
if I by-pass every day grunginess,
if I give up the work of salvage and renewal,
I then abandon God’s promise to see the world changed.
He’s still here, ready and waiting,
handing me a broom, a shovel and cleaning rags,
so I can keep at it – mopping up my messy ordinary.
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