Being an Admirer

Theme for April: Amazement

Monday, April 5, 2021

Here’s an 0n-the-spot, then-and-there oral poem, made several mornings ago while walking in Mystic with Delycia, and then typed at home:

ON A STEEP HILL
a then-and-there oral poem
April 1, 2021

Wind in the green leaves of ivy 
can fold us up in its arms 
so that it seems like 
the whole universe 
is sweeping through us 
on this steep hill in Mystic. 

AN ADMIRER BY NATURE


“Mr Borthrop Trumbull [an auctioneer] had a kindly liquid in his veins; he was an admirer by nature, and would have liked to have the universe under his [auction] hammer, feeling that it would go at a higher figure for his recommendation.”    — George Eliot, Middlemarch

Years ago I knew a man who was bedridden with a gruesome disease, but somehow, to my amazement, he was able to be what Eliot’s auctioneer was, an admirer by nature. He told me he had only so many years left to live, only so many minutes in which to admire the world around him or heap scorn upon it, and he chose to admire. He said it’s exhausting to constantly find fault with what’s happening, and he would rather relax in his admiration for the gifts this world gave him than wear himself out with complaining. Looking back, I guess he was lucky to have, like Borthrop Trumbull, “a kindly liquid in [his] veins”, an approving and thankful nature that found something to praise in just about everything. Yes, he knew there was evil in the world, and there was failure and insufficiency and malfunction, and there were disappointments and duds aplenty, but he also knew, as he often told me, that there are so many more successes and wonders and heroes. He said that finding fault in everything is like seeing flaws in sunrises, or getting a gift of a great amount of money and making a fuss because it’s not $2.00 more. He said he would rather work his hardest to find some satisfaction in his situation than rage against it. Life, he said as he struggled to sit up in his bed, is far too short to spend it in grumbles and grievances. There’s sunshine to be seen in even the darkest days, and, from the bed he was confined to, he was out to find it.  

Here’s an Easter osprey, seen yesterday on our morning walk along the Mystic River:

And here’s a early-blossoming tree, seen on our sunrise walk this morning:

And here’s a then-and-there oral poem, made during our walk this morning:

FLOATING ON THE LAKE
April 5, 2021
(a then-and-there oral poem)

Birdsongs and footsteps 
on a blustery morning 
can blow our lives up
into the lofty sky of life.
We listen and look 
and let black trucks 
and light fences 
and green grass
and a little laughter 
be like the lake of life 
that we are floating on 
on April fifth, 2021,
at seven-thirty-two a.m. 

And finally, here’s a ‘poem-in-ink’, written in ink so I can’t make any changes. Like the present moment, it is what it is!

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