Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Woman Crude As Any

I took a walk today and looked at Icelandic* poppies sprinkled everywhere, some still with fuzzy heads bowed and others with papery petals in sorbet colors open to the sky. I don't know why it's so hard to get up and out of my pajamas every morning these days, to shake out and up my mind and body. Everything points to the natural world, to air and sky and flower and tree as remedy for what ails the spirit, but I can't say that I'm even remotely disciplined when it comes to acknowledging it.

A Warning to My Readers

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.
-Wendell Berry

*A friend pointed out that these are probably Icelandic, not California poppies, so if you read an earlier version, I stand corrected! 


  1. I love this poem and that picture and your words. And I love that you are as crude as any. I think we all are, if we are being honest. I wish you many more walks in lovely places that lift your spirit.

  2. Wish I could take a walk with you, in my pajamas. Both of us.

  3. Well, you're still a wonder. And far from crude.
    I don't know how often you've stayed in budget chain hotels recently, but it seems quite acceptable to slouch into the breakfast room in p.j.'s, so I think morning walks will be next. My mom thinks nothing of going out to the patio here in her p.j.s--probably all the neighbors in the condos across the canal talk about us.

  4. Oh, Lord. That poem should be the header for my blog.
    Perfect. So are the poppies.

  5. When I lived in a house I would often find myself outside gardening in my pyjamas or visiting a neighbor. I would wait for the bus with Katie, in my pyjamas and then I would find and weed and then a neighbor would call out to me. I'm better now but I do wander the halls of my condo building in my pyjamas from time to time.

    The poppies are gorgeous. We still have snow but spring is coming.

  6. When it comes to writing one can be very productive while wearing pajamas, so there is that.

  7. I love the poem, and it is probably, most certainly, true of most of us who seem gentle and genteel ... we put our best faces for show, unless we go out dressed in our PJs. I can be very snarky - really!!

  8. but I think you are - just look at the beautiful photo you took! that poppy made you stop, and acknowledge it.

  9. Wendell Berry is one of my favorites. I've been in a rut as well. I always feel much better when I go outside and take in nature but it's so hard to actually get out the door sometimes.



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