Monday, June 26, 2017

A selfie, and a poem.

One night on our vacation in Laguna Beach 
a few weeks ago, I took this selfie.
no makeup, no filters, no children or husband 
or anything to hide behind.
just plain old me.

and sure, I see the wrinkles and sun spots and freckles -
I'm not as young or beautiful or thin as I once was, 
I know.

But when I look this picture,
I don't feel disappointed at all - 
I just feel so content and relaxed and at peace.

I had spent this entire day with my people:
we had Thomas' donuts for breakfast,
my phone was on airplane mode,
and my book was never far from my side,
and we played an epic game of baseball on the beach as the sun went down.
It was Lana & Dan vs me & Tucker,
and if our ghost runners would have been just a bit faster,
T-bone and I could have won it all.
We laughed a lot during that game.
We laughed a lot during that whole day.

Suddenly, or maybe it's been over the course of years...
but nonetheless, the time is here

when I care more about the dimple in my son's cheek when he grins at me
because I'm racing around the bases with him
than I do about the way the backs of my thighs look
without shorts on...

when I care more about floating in the ocean with my girl,
talking circles about nothing, and listening to the waves,
than I do about any notification that is alerting alerting alerting....

when the simple pleasures of watching my husband bait his hook
and eating a tomato sandwich on fresh bread
and finishing a book in a day
are enough to fill my soul to the brim.


    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story. 
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass. 

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself. 

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. 

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy. 

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

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