It was raining and colder yesterday...but I realize I can see the season developing like a photo when I slow down enough to look at it. There are at least two dozen shades of green where I live. This, in part, is why I'm not looking to re-locate far from here when we put our house up for sale next year. There is so much to say about this--about how it feels to plan to leave the house I grew up in and have raised my children in these years...the ordinary beauty I am trading for another glimpse at what home could be.
Ordinary beauty has also struck me in the magnolias blooming like mad in the front yard. Their raining petals are even more magical to me when I think about how short a time this tree flowers. Soon it will yield to green leaves and be just as nondescript as any other tiny tree on any other street. Its breathtaking potential will be just our pretty little secret for another year.
She sent me this journal just because I knew some song lyrics and decided to play along. It was my second win...the first palm-sized notebook became a mini gratitude journal where I jot down random things I appreciate and need to remember. This one is BIG and I am thrilled with the infinite possibilities for the words I'll ultimately fill it with.
Rosie...her Easter necklace made in school and devoured in minutes--just because ordinary beauty is made extraordinary by her unusual way of looking at the world, and who doesn't need to be reminded of how amazing the mundane life can be from the perspective of a three-year-old?
Ordinary beauty in Marge Piercy's poem, "For the young who want to", which Cyndy from my writing group decided to share with all of us in honor of our determined plodding along against the page, and I am sharing here in honor of Poetry Thursday. While we're at it, in honor of (inter)National Poetry month, even if you never read poems...I urge you get out there and try it for just this month at least. When April ends and you're still on the prowl for new poems, you can thank me later and I promise not to say "I told you so"...
For the young who want to
by Marge Piercy
Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.
Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.
Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.
The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms
is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.
The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.
from The Moon Is Always Female, 1980