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Delicate Things

“Why shouldn’t we, so generally addicted to the gigantic, at last have some small works of art, some short poems, short pieces of music […], some intimate, low-voiced, and delicate things in our mostly huge and roaring, glaring world?” — Elizabeth Bishop

For all the big plans we make, most of our life is lived in routine. This blog is most often fueled by an early rise and a freshly ground cup of coffee. But when routine fails me and I really need to focus on writing or some other work, I put on my noise-cancelling headphones and play the same song on repeat until I’ve completed whatever it was that was getting overwhelmed by the gigantic. No surprise for readers that for me, that song is Wild Theme by Mark Knopfler. You can go right ahead and put it on my playlist when I pass.

I’ve paired that song with a Scotch whiskey nosing glass filled with sand from Camusdarach Beach, sitting just out of reach of a certain curious cat who loves nothing more than knocking delicate things off of solid places. That beach is one of the stars of another work of art, Local Hero, that elicits eye rolls whenever I mention it to family and friends.

I still have a water bottle filled with a bit of Walden Pond from a few weeks ago. I’m somewhere between boiling it for a cup of tea and pouring it in the pool, that I might have a bit of Walden around me every time I go for a swim. This might seem odd to the masses, and I respect that, but isn’t it just as odd to fixate on the lives of the Royal Family or to get a Mickey Mouse tattoo? Everyone has something that holds on to them through it all.

A sprinkling of adventure does a soul good, but so too does the collection of delicate things that quietly surround us and makes us whole. These prove to be more important to us in our daily lives than the bucket list moments. That quiet inventory of art, music, prose and poetry lifts us up when we need them most, keeping us from drowning in the angry sea of everyday.

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