2018 has been here a week

I’m working on this manuscript and treading water on my regular responsibilities. It’s up and down with the manuscript—sometimes I love it, sometimes I want to pitch it all out the damn window and learn plumbing. This morning I was thinking about taking three big pieces of paper and making lists:

  1. Balls I have in the air
  2. Balls I’m dribbling
  3. Balls I’m letting roll away

but I just want to read this poem by Maggie Smith again and again, and this, which makes me feel like anything is possible with some kindness.


Rain, New Year’s Eve
by Maggie Smith

The rain is a broken piano,
playing the same note over and over.

My five-year-old said that.
Already she knows loving the world

means loving the wobbles
you can’t shim, the creaks you can’t

oil silent—the jerry-rigged parts,
MacGyvered with twine and chewing gum.

Let me love the cold rain’s plinking.
Let me love the world the way I love

my young son, not only when
he cups my face in his sticky hands,

but when, roughhousing,
he accidentally splits my lip.

Let me love the world like a mother.
Let me be tender when it lets me down.

Let me listen to the rain’s one note
and hear a beginner’s song.

Let me love the world like a mother./Let me be tender when it lets me down.

I work on this. Daily. Have been for years. 2018 won’t be any different.

2 thoughts on “2018 has been here a week

  1. j-krazay

    not all Balls become something

    have you seen the Japanese sakura tree
    in spring
    she shelters slumbering spring buds

    every bud is
    bare or Blooms
    it is the way of Mother Earth

  2. Rob Plagmann

    I love the poem. I can totally dig reading it over and over and over. Isn’t it amazing how inexhaustible the wisdom and courage of writing is? The Maggie Smith poem reminded me of one I’m sure you know; Sleep and Poetry by Keats. If you have a chance, check out the movie “Bright Star” on Netflix. It documents the love affair between Keats and Fanny Brawne. It is really well done. So, how much ended up on each list? You still banging on that one key, enjoying that one sound? The beginner’s song?

    Sleep and Poetry

    What is more gentle than a wind in summer?
    What is more soothing than the pretty hummer
    That stays one moment in an open flower,
    And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower?
    What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing
    In a green island, far from all men’s knowing?
    More healthful than the leafiness of dales?
    More secret than a nest of nightingales?
    More serene than Cordelia’s countenance?
    More full of visions than a high romance?
    What, but thee Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes!
    Low murmurer of tender lullabies!
    Light hoverer around our happy pillows!
    Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows!
    Silent entangler of a beauty’s tresses!
    Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
    Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
    That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise.

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