Monday, January 28, 2008

Random Acts...

This poem is for my family -- husband, cousins, brothers, sister, parents -- all of whom are responsible for periodic spontaneous random kindness and senseless acts of beauty that have blessed my life. At the moment I am still reeling from one such random act of kindness from a cousin, who sent to me quite on his own, some pottery bowls and clay beads that my Aunt Betty had made. I had no idea that these things even existed. It makes my eyes water. It has brought an ordinary pleasure into my life that will continue to well up for the rest of my life.

The Pleasures of an Ordinary Life

I’ve had my share of necessary losses
Of dreams I know no longer can come true.
I’m done now with the whys and the becauses
It’s time to make things good, not just make do
It’s time to stop complaining and pursue
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I used to rail against my compromises.
I yearned for the wild music, the swift race.
But happiness arrived in new disguises.
Sun lighting a child's hair.
A friend's embrace.
Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
It seems the woman I've turned out to be
Is not the heroine of some grand story.
But I have learned to find poetry
In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

Young fantasies of magic and of mystery
Are over. But they really can't compete
With all we've built together: A long history.
Connections that help render us complete.
Ties that hold and heal us. And the sweet,
Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.

Judith Viorst, Forever Fifty and Other Negotiations. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1989

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