Every Beautiful Thing

If only those parakeets would settle
A little nearer to where I’m sitting, instead of at the tops of far-off
     trees, this morning
Would be so much more remarkable.
One could watch the blackbirds, I suppose, peck their ways like
     Oxford dons across
The flagstone paths and lawns, or the swallows, or the sparrows,
Or the crows. But those birds are so plain—, so…painfully
No, only those parakeets will do and they will not do
What I want them to. In this, they are like everything else in the
Every beautiful thing.

~Jay Hopler “Beauty is a Real Thing, I’ve Seen It” from The Abridged History of Rainfall

“Get up,” he says, all of you – all of you! –
and the power that is in him is the power to give life not just to the dead…,

but to those who are only partly alive,
which is to say to people like you and me

who much of the time live with our lives
closed to the wild beauty and miracle of things,
including the wild beauty and miracle of every day we live
and even of ourselves.
~Frederick Buechner -from Secrets in the Dark

May I never just be partly alive,
longing for a far-away untouchable beauty
rather than noticing what is glorious right in front of me.

This is the package of life:
the plain and the mundane,
the painfully and wonderfully available,
the shadowy and the brilliant.

I want to be fully alive to the wild beauty and miracle of every day,
heeding His call to “get up!”
no matter how I may want things to be different,
no matter how I may want to be different.

And so I believe
~truly believe~
I am called to be fully alive, and gratefully acknowledge
the miracle of this and every day.


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