Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"The Ordinary Life"

This little something-something was offered at the evening service, circa August 5, 2007.

This was a day when nothing happened
And yet it was so full of
A nameless joy
But other than that, it had no destination
I woke up early and
Got the day started
All the normal, predictable things happened
I went to work
Was completely prepared
Did all the things I needed to do
Came home to eat and daydream
Return messages and a dozen other
Little things I like to do

And it reminds me
Of Professor Tolkien’s stories
Not of the great battles,
Or the kings and heroes,
But after great adventures,
After felling dragons
And negotiating the political chaos
That ensued,
Little Bilbo Baggins spent something like
A month
Just hanging out with the elves,
Dwelling in Rivendell,
Experiencing, perhaps, that nameless joy
That he tries do describe
By pointing out
That while great battles
And tales of suffering and woe
May make a fine story
That lasts for hours
Days spent in safety, peace, and contentment
Don’t make for good stories
Because there is no drama
No suspense, no plot, only a simple beauty
That is hard to replicate
In story form
Indeed, nearly impossible
Save to evoke memories
That we each carry
Of moments from our own
Beautiful lives

And then all we can really do
Is point and say
“There! There, do you see?
It was like that time
When you were in Maine
Walking along the coastline
And everything was quiet
Except for the ocean
Which roared
And it was so beautiful
So profound
So something-you-don’t-even-have-a-word-for
That you felt something shift
Inside of you
Like a giant puzzle piece
Plopping into place
And then you felt something
If beauty, peace, and contentment
Had a physical sensation
Like hot and cold do,
That would be it,
What you felt,
Right then
Except you didn’t consider yourself
A poet, a dreamer, a sage,
A celebrity who can incite
World Peace by simply releasing
The next album.
Because yours is the
Ordinary Life.
You never thought that
Your profound moments
Could touch anything like
Gandhi’s or Buddha’s or Jesus’
But that’s what I mean,”
You say as you point to that time
Your friend stood on the coastline of Maine
Feeling both Ordinary & Special at the same time.

You point to it, and say
“Remember that?
It’s just like that.”

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