…how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Mary Oliver knows what more of us must learn. Whatever we are doing, is what we are doing. Why worry that we ought to be doing something else? I putter about for this or that scrap to piece together…a word for the day, the week, a frame on which to stretch a canvas. A peg to hang ideas on.
Should we be doing or being? What, in you, is being today? Being is tough. Doing is easier. Being is suspect. People wonder what we’re doing!
What do I show for what I’m doing? for who I am being? What frame for my canvas, what design for the quilt? No matter theory, the big picture, or a meaning I lay on diverse events, life keeps coming down to chapter and verse. This specific event, this word with that person, these hours spent flipping through books, notes, and remembering to water the hanging begonias.
We each are only one person who can do mostly only one thing at a time. Each choice we make in a day like today eliminates other choices, or limits what else will suit. Every plunge into the pool is a risk of an habitual order.
And would it have been worth it after all? Would it have been worthwhile? [Prufrock, Eliot]
I labor always over the BIG risks: the yawning abyss into vulnerability, deep relationship, substantial change, or speaking truth in the face of enemies. But every day, every moment requires a commitment of its own, large, small, or immeasurable.
Just these moments add up to a way of life. My puttering over this book and that, this view or that, sorting through scraps of papers long ago filed away, give me away. I seek meaning in everything. The moment I have, the now that is mine, the truth of myself. Every day presents an empty canvas. Every day the cat must be fed, caressed. The apple cut, the water poured, the garden tended. The word laid down.
Miracles are made of ordinary stuff.