Fifteen minutes of music.

I’m feeling tired, and flat, and uninspired and uninspiring. Tonight there is nothing in my head worth sharing; and even if there was, I probably couldn’t string a reasonable sentence together about it anyway. I’m even splitting my infinitives.

So I will share not my own thoughts, but somebody else’s: this is my favourite Mary Oliver poem.

Freshen the flowers, she said

So I put them in the sink, for the cool porcelain
was tender,
and took out the tattered and cut each stem
on a slant,
trimmed the black and daggy leaves, and set them all –
roses, delphiniums, daisies, iris, lilies –
and more whose names I don’t know, in bright new water –
gave them

a bounce upward at the end to let them take
their own choice of position, the wheels, the spurs,
the little sheds of the buds. It took, to do this,
perhaps fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes of music
with nothing playing.


May we all know the blessing of small moments of beauty in the everyday.


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