voodoos of ambition

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.

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
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

bisous, e

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