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.
by Mary Oliver
are so perfect
I can hardly believe
their lapped light crowding
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
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
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.