Mary Oliver Answers the Questions

I had a post-doc in worry. Covid pretty much cured me of it. Or cured me of the notion that worrying did anything but furrow my brow, wreck my sleep and drive me to consume copious portions of foods made from sugar, fats, and salt. Mary Oliver, of blessed memory and eternal wisdom, was a worrier too.


I Worried
Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

***.        ***          ***


Where are you with your worrying? Can you set it aside? How did you reach that state?



Taking Stock

Hard to believe we’re edging up on a year of Covid.  The virus  weaves itself through nearly every consideration in our lives.  Multiply by, say 50, the number of lives claimed and you have twenty-five million people mourning their family and friends. Scientists of all disciplines will likely be studying for years to come the emotional, physical, educational and social implications of this pandemic.

The goal of this site is to “enhance your now” to bring a bit of brightness to you, my readers. Amidst it all, this year has also brought silver linings, and that is where questions come into play. What silver lining has this pandemic year brought to you? Have you taken the opportunity to do something you might not have attempted otherwise, a new hobby perhaps, or skill? What of your relationships? Which have been strengthened and how? Which  have been weakened? The song “For Good” from Wicked comes to me.  How, and possibly who, has changed you this year? For the better? For good?

Photo credit:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               “Zodiac sign of LIBRA in a 15th century manuscript” by VirtualManuscript Library of Switzerland, licensed umdr CC BY-NC 2.0


Zen and the Art of Hospital Corners

Hospital corners! I love them. My grandmother taught me and every morning when I make my bed, I think back to my visits when I tagged alongside as she “did her doins'”, straightening the house before we left for the day.

Hospital corners and bed making go beyond sentimental memory. Making my bed each morning begins the day with order. The bed, at least, is in my control. I can have my day planned, but the Yiddish truism Mentsch tracht un Gott lacht*  is a truism because plans come undone. To-do lists are left behind, a phone call from the lab or a friend can upend our world.

But my bed? I’ve got that covered. Yes, it’s rote. Yes, it often feels like a monotonous chore instead of an act of the spirit.  Sometimes I rebel and stow our second blanket in the cabinet without folding it first. Yet I have come to welcome this daily anchor to the morning. This small  unceasing task of making the bed makes me. Makes me calmer, prepped for the day, aware of the blessing of a bed and a loving husband beside me each night. Making my bed is a small act of loyalty, gratitude and pleasure.  For me, making the bed really does matter.

What morning ritual anchors you for the day?


* Man plans and God laughs.


What Is Your Super Power?

We all have one—that gift that makes us who we are. That strength that can unsettle the adults in charge, inclining them to dismiss or downright deride what should be celebrated and encouraged. The superpower figure balancing on the pomegranate is a gift from our four-year-old granddaughter. She put Violet in my husband’s hand as we were saying goodbye. “Here,” Olivia said. “Keep my power girl and you won’t be sad.” Olivia’s compassion is definitely one of her superpowers, modeled and celebrated by her parents and grandparents among others.

So, what is your super power? How have you held on to it? How do you share it?

PS If you’re wondering why Violet is perched on a pomegranate, I just liked the idea of her being powered up by a female symbol of inner bounty and beauty.