saving my life.

book spine poetry

We had a rather ornery morning in our house, so the things I had thought about posting seem a little false. Here are three things that have stayed with me this week that are saving my life instead.

We call facts like flight extraordinary because they violate ordinary facts like gravity. But ordinary facts are only extraordinary facts we have grown used to.

If we took nothing for granted, there would be no dullness to highlight the wonderful. Wonder rests on lack of wonder. -from “The Hidden Assumptions of Wonder” by Brian Jay Stanley

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller
We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much
You should aim to be successful, but not too successful
Otherwise, you will threaten the man”
Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important
Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are
Feminist: a person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists” (sampled on Beyonce’s “Flawless” which I listen to every day)

“Midnight Gladness” by Denise Levertov

“Peace upon each thing my eye takes in,
Upon each thing my mouth takes in.”
—Carmina Gadelica

The pleated lampshade, slightly askew,
dust a silverish muting of the lamp’s fake brass.
My sock-monkey on the pillow, tail and limbs asprawl,
weary after a day of watching sunlight
prowl the house like a wolf.
Gleams of water in my bedside glass.
Miraculous water, so peacefully
waiting to be consumed.

The day’s crowding arrived
at this abundant stillness. Each thing
given to the eye before sleep, and water
at my lips before darkness. Gift after gift.

(Read by Kathleen Norris at the Glen Workshop.)

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