The measure of achievement is not winning awards.
It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.
I think of my strawberry souffle.
I did that at least twenty-eight times before I finally conquered it. – Julia Child
Last day of July? The hell?
Okay, fine. Seasons have to do their thing. Whatever. I don’t have to be happy about it. I can cling to summer like a kid on her mom’s ankles being dropped at kindergarten for the first time. I never promised I was gonna grow up. You know, I’m sure I will . . . someday.
At times like these when I can’t possibly squeeze one more hour out of these long sweet days before they slip out of my grasp, I depend on words to carry me forward. In particular, it helps to keep a focus on my small achievements and not let them get lost in comparison to what anyone else is doing (i.e. others doing–> more. and? more better). So I cherish this passage from Julia above (who let us not forget, did not even find her passion for cooking until her early 40s).
I also retreat into the safe haven of my most cherished poet as she seems to always know just what I need.
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water
and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to
sooner or later
is a part of everything else
which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.
~ Poem of the One World, Mary Oliver
All of which to say, I may not have had the most productive month that is now ending, but damn if I didn’t savor it! And being sure to consume fresh blueberries while barefoot, eat a pick-up truck’s worth of watermelon, lie back in a field filled with queen anne’s lace while the sun is still coming up, staying up late or getting up early just to sit and stare out the window and scribble — well, I’m calling it a win.
TodayI’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
~ Today, Mary Oliver