Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


 katiebird's beautiful blog
Into the Woode has an entire area dedicated to 

This poem has been around since the 1920s.  Unfortunately, for most of my generation we read it on T shirts, posters, fridge magnets, all manner of useless material.
It was  flashed in our faces so often as to become trite.

But this morning, thanks to what? why? who? certainly Katie, I read it with fresh eyes and perhaps a New Year's heart,
and it occurs to me that this is exactly what my dream of a perfect life is.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
(Tiptoe gently January, with your soft snow and quiet cold and make footprints on my heart.)

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
(Love, treat me kindly so I may have the energy to be kind.)

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
(Hear their words, look into their eyes, feel their story.)

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
(Let me see the small and frightened child within.)

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
(I am enough.)

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
(I do enough.)

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
(I have enough.)

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
(Hurrah! for all the ordinary, everyday heroes! The mums and the dads, the sisters and the friends.)

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

(...but the greatest of these is love...)

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
(...And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive!
And here is the best part, you'll have a head start,
If you are among the very young at heart.)

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

(..."Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air?
have you ever looked fear in the face and said "I just don't care?")

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
(Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Go outside and play, every day.)

be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

(", just trust...")

Therefore be at peace with god,
whatever you conceive god to be.

(..."how about remembering your own divinity?"...)

And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

("...Yes I think to myself......what a wonderful world.")

- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

whisperings are mine with many thanks to the writers of random music that
constantly plays itself out in my head
Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh
Alanis Morisette
George David Weiss and Bob Thiele

and the philosophical, dietary and exercise wisdom of St. Paul, Michael Pollen and my mother.

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  1. I love that. You are right, it has been around for a long time and I remember bits of it, but I don't think I have ever read all of it.
    Thank you

  2. J - love those words and yours x

  3. Very wise words. I do not think I have read this before Jacqueline.

  4. What a lovely post- so inspirational- re Kitchen Aid mixer- I plan on opening it and using it this year- now that we are settled and I have more cupboard space.

  5. Yes girls....guilty as charged. I had this as a fridge magnet back in the late 70's. Thank you for resurrecting it & giving it your unique touch. Wishing you both many joyous moments & lots of wonderful surprises in 2011.
    Millie x

  6. It will always be one of my most favourite pieces of the written word.

  7. This just made my day - sharing beautiful words is one of my passions - I'm so glad it brought you so much happiness! It is my favorite, too :) Thank you!

  8. What a pretty and inspiring post. Thank you. Happy new year frm Norway!

  9. My Grandmother has always loved this poem (she and it were young together, I guess). It's funny because my mother (who had it quoted at her whenever she did something unwise/hasty/loud etc) has always kicked against it ... but I love it. Great to see it in a new context and with the beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. Alice. Happy New Year from New Zealand.

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