Sunday, June 2, 2013

May Majesty Be Unmuted Today!

I love this blog post by Rachel Barenblat.  She reminds us that in most situations, we can choose to see a land of milk and honey or we can choose to feel dwarfed by the inhabitants.

I've been having parallel thoughts.  I've let the minutiae of house buying swamp my good feelings.  I've gotten hung up on quarter point moves of the interest rate, instead of marvelling at the idea that I'm getting a rate well below 5%.  I'm worried about all the steps happening as quickly as they need to.  I'm fretful about money.

I try to keep my thoughts in perspective by reminding myself that these are good problems to have.  I remember all the people wrestling with issues that are much larger. 

These thoughts remind me of a poem I wrote years ago, which was published in Clackamas Literary Review.  I was teaching Composition down the hallway from an Astronomy class, and the evening happened just as the poem describes:

 Majesty Muted

The poet teaches first year Composition
down the hall from an Astronomy
class. Her students struggle
to turn basic sentences into coherent
paragraphs. Language strips its potential
for majesty as they get back to basics:
subject, verb, direct object.

Over the students' bent heads, the poet hears
whisps of Cosmology from down the hall,
hints of a big bang and dancing around Darwin.
She thinks of that teacher who has seen glimmers
of the mysteries of the universe
and must now use language that lacks
enough words to explain tough concepts to bored students.

The astronomer and the poet, modern mystics, cracked
open by cosmic glories unglimpsed
by most. They return
from the mountaintops
with great news of glad tidings.
They're greeted with the sighs
of those who prefer to have majesty muted.

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