Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Readings: Blessings Counted

From a short, informal, prose piece entitled "The Shadows" collected in the volume A Hundred White Daffodils by Jane Kenyon:

The luckiest, sunniest life invariably includes tragedy, if I do not overstate these matters by calling them tragic. To lose your health, your strength, your ability to work, and to take pleasure in life--that is tragedy. It's no less tragic because it happens to everybody.


Tonight before the storm I went out with the kitchen shears and a basket. I cut every full-open peony in sight, quantities that I would never permit myself under other circumstances. I knew the rain would shatter the flowers, break their stems so that their luxurious forms and perfumes would be lost for the year. Pick them, something told me, pick them and fill the house, and we'll put our faces into them and inhale, and see the ants crawl on them, and leave the ants alone because life is precious and ought not to be crushed.