Just Beautiful

The t-shirt?  I went to Washington DC to serve on a panel.  My husband and daughter went with me. They braved the 100 degree+ heat each day for lots of sight seeing, leaving me at the plush hotel to work, 15 hours a day, reading, evaluating and ranking large grant applications. They bought me this shirt at  the spy museum.

The t-shirt? I went to Washington DC to serve on a panel. My husband and daughter went with me. They braved the 100 degree+ heat each day for lots of sight seeing, leaving me at the plush hotel to work, 15 hours a day, reading, evaluating and ranking large grant applications.
They bought me this shirt at the spy museum.

I was at the gym yesterday.  And lest you think me fit, let me just say that it was the first time since the last time I mentioned being at the gym.   Anyway, there I was, making a withdrawal from the winter reserves and thinking about my optional poetry assignment: share a poem that you love by someone who isn’t you.

As I treaded the mill I recalled poetic lines that have stayed with me through many years:

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;


Have courage for the great sorrows of life
and patience for the small ones;
And when you have laboriously
accomplished your daily task,
Go to sleep in peace.
God is awake.

Since I have always been more a woman of contemplation than of action:

“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.  There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.”

Haven’t you noticed that geeks are more often skinny than not?  Apparently all that working out of the brain burns some significant cals.

I flipped further through my mental versodex:

Grow old along with me!
the best is yet to be,
the last of life,
for which the first was made.

That one always reminds me of the ring keeper my hub gave me long ago.  It sits on my kitchen windowsill, holds my wedding rings when I’m cooking with my hands, just my hands.

IMG_1516 - Version 2

When my daughter was in kindergarten she had to memorize and recite Psalm 23.  And since a kindergartener’s homework assignment is a mom’s homework assignment, I recited the whole thing in my head as I walked.  Here’s my favorite part:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I’ve needed that one more than a few times in recent years.

My mind walked on to a new favorite:

And Life, that sets all things in rhyme,
may make you poet, too, in time-
But there were days, O tender elf,
When you were Poetry itself!

The other day a fellow blogger wrote:

We melt
we ooze
we thaw like icebergs fully globally warmed
puddles of individuality
become one with a Living sea

It reminded me of Zephaniah 3:9-20 NIV, one of my all time favorite passages.

A woman once pointed out that all the colors of humanity are represented in the jewels that decorate heaven – jasper, onyx, chrysolite, topaz, jacinth…  it kind of reminded me of that, too. I love the thought of all us lovers of God melding into One, the burden of ego melting away.

And after all that pondering, I realized that there was some pretty good poetry wafting through my head right there on my playlist.  Here’s a small sample:

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in

Great warm up song.

Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame, someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns, doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You gotta get up and try, try, try


Thought that I was growing
Growing older, wiser
Understanding why this world
Held nothing for my spirit
Thought that I was destined
Destined to be nothing
Destined to be nothing
In this world and then I met you
I met you

Every stinking line of that one is GREAT!  And it gets my heart rate up…

And for the cool down:

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true: I was made for you

On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin’ out his one note song

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there…
But I’m strong,
strong enough to carry him,
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…

I have the lyrics a little out of order on that last one but it’s my mind trip we’re on here.  Yep, lots of poetry in my head yesterday, and it was just beautiful.

In order of appearance:
William Wordsworth
Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo again
Robert Browning
Christopher Morley
Anthony Gomez
Sly Stone
Michael Busbee and Ben West
Reid, Charles Stobo/reid, Craig Morris
Brandi Carlile
Bob Seger
Marcus Congleton

What are your favorites?


12 thoughts on “Just Beautiful

    • I love being at the gym, I love coming home all sweaty from the gym, but I hate GOING to the gym. They say it takes two weeks to form a habit. So, I’m going to put on my gym clothes and force myself out among the large snowflakes again today. While the hub watches the Daytona 500.


  1. I wish I could keep poetry in my head. There is much that I love, but I’m lucky if I can bring up a line or two. On the other hand, I have tons of scripture tucked away in the nooks and crannies of my brain, and I’m so thankful for that. Comes in handy many ways, including in my counseling office.

    Next week I’m teaching a lesson on mercy in Sunday school, and of course I looked up Portia’s speech to Shylock: “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes. . . . .” Reading this passage over and over is a humbling experience.


    • I have more Scripture than poetry in my head, too. Though the Psalms are poetry. Most of what I remember is just the stanzas that stayed with me, not the entire poems.
      I am not familiar with Portia’s speech to Shylock – though once I look it up I may say, “Oh, yes!” My memory is not what it used to be… And I will look it up because it sounds absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.
      What a gift to your clients all that Scripture in your head.


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