Philosophy | Poetry

Willing to be Dazzled

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.”
– Mary Oliver, The Ponds


Maybe it’s the dulling effect of years staring at screens, where every moment is designed to dazzle you into staying. Don’t click away! Stay! Wait, look at this! I believe too many people have lost their willingness to be dazzled by the world. And that’s a shame. The world can be dazzling indeed.

I quickly fall behind when people start listing the shows they’ve watched. I’ve watched a few, but I just can’t commit to binge-watching every episode of every series that’s been recommended. I feel like I’m missing out when I watch an early afternoon football game, not because I don’t love the game, but because its three hours of time that I might have spent outdoors or in conversation with someone of significance. I recognize that this makes me a bit different than the norm. I never professed to be normal.

We’re halfway through September. Personally a rough month in a year so rough many would soon forget it. The weight of facts are overwhelming. There’s far more on my mind than being dazzled this week, but that’s the very time to open your eyes to the world and find the magic. For its out there waiting for you should you take the time to see. The sun still rises and sets, mountains and oceans still mark time and the world keeps spinning. There’s a Carolina Wren singing to me even as I write this as if to remind me the world is still here. And so must we be.

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