Tuesday, April 29, 2014

searching for the marvellous

"When you know that all is light
you are enlightened." 

- Yogi tea

"Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous.

I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension.

But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living."

- Anais Nin

I need to work to feel well. 

- Edouard Manet

Ordinary life interests me quite a bit, but I also believe that ordinary life is rarely ordinary. If you believe that all is light, then one's search for the marvellous also takes on a new dimension.

What is true, is that I need to write to feel well.

And now, for something completely different. 

Choosing A Dog

by William Stafford

"It's love," they say. You touch
the right one and a whole half of the universe
wakes up, a new half.

Some people never find
that half, or they neglect it or trade it
for money or success and it dies.

The faces of big dogs tell, over the years,
that size is a burden: you enjoy it for awhile
but then maintenance gets to you.

When I get old I think I'll keep, not a little
dog, but a serious dog,
for the casual, drop-in criminal —

My kind of dog, unimpressed by
dress or manner, just knowing
what's really there by the smell.

Your good dogs, some things that they hear
they don't really want you to know —
it's too grim or ethereal.

And sometimes when they look in the fire
they see time going on and someone alone,
but they don't say anything.

Falling in love with a dog is a funny thing, but entirely true. I still remember Chloe picking this fellow out of the litter of 9 other pups for her ninth birthday. He was the anti-social one, off to the side. We'd mentioned to her before heading out that she might like to pick the smallest one. Naturally, he was the largest. 

Once Chloe chose him, the woman put a dab of green nail polish on the top of his head, so we'd know he was ours when we picked him up a couple of weeks later. When we got home, I read that when you pick your dog, you should never select the anti-social one off to the side. 

Needless to say, it's turned out alright for us. He had his 7th birthday this April. Which means that Chloe will soon be turning 16. 

And I won't even tell you how old I'll soon be turning....


  1. Well if ever there was a perfect tea tag for you, you got it:) It's kind of ridiculous how much these little pieces of paper make me smile. Hope Chloe have a lovely 16th year. Growing up! Funny too, how our pets mark the passage of time. Ace is looking well for 7. Loved the poetry today.

    Have a lovely day, Shawna.

    1. Thank you, Leigh - I know - the tea tag seemed like it had been planted... :)

  2. I live my life looking for the magic and the grace in ordinary thing. The way that an object touch a surface, the connections between parts of a pile, a fallen feather, and the sound of the rumbling laundry machine - all makes a poetry. thank you for the post.

  3. i would just be right down there on the floor with that beloved black head next to mine.
    i love dogs more than i do people. i do. it's a shameful thing to admit. but it's true.
    like mark twain said...
    "if dogs don't go to heaven then i don't want to go there. i want to go where they go."
    and . . .
    so ironic . . . i just thought of anais nin yesterday. at one time when i was young . . .
    i literally absorbed all of her journals.
    then i wanted to meet her so badly. and found out she had died only the year before.
    except... i disagree with her . . . when she said she didn't feel she was living doing mundane daily type things. sometimes that's when we're most alive and most contemplative.
    another beautiful post.

    1. You know I was thinking of you when I posted the pics of Ace :)

      And yes - I agree with your disagreeing :)


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