Blogging Against Disablism Day

I am, by far, no disability rights activist.  But today I was thinking of Mary Oliver’s poem “The Ponds.”  I’m not sure it’s exactly fitting for today.  After all, we are not all lilies.  But I read this poem and what I take away from it is that we all have value and we all bring something beautiful and fierce and light to the world, even though none of us is a “perfect” specimen.

We can, of course, keep searching through beautiful, fierce, light-bringing people for those closest to “perfection,” but we can choose to let go of that, too.

The Ponds
by Mary Oliver

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them–

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided–
and this one wears an orange blight–
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away–
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

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.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white filre of a great mystery.
I want to believe that imperfections are nothing–
that the light is everything–that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

2 thoughts on “Blogging Against Disablism Day

  1. I once knew a delightful woman in the UK who said she believes it is our imperfections that attract us to each other. I agree with the sentiment. There is no perfection in human beings. There is only beauty, and that’s more than enough for me.

  2. TCP, that’s a great poem…

    Church sec, yes…and…not quite.

    Some imperfections are judged as endearing and attractive. Others *are* but most don’t believe so. :)

    A third category really aren’t.

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