author’s note:

January 25 is Robert Burns night in Scotland.

To be honest, I don’t know his work that well…

But I like the idea of honoring a poet with a special night.
 

HOW HER MUNDANE LIFE BECAME VISIONARY

In her dream, a door
swung open to reveal
a wild grass field—

all those stalks
with their luminous tips
darkening down to secret roots

while in the near distance
blue wildflowers circled
the stonewall of a well

then, on the horizon
a purple mountain rose above white mist—
a mysterious pyramid beckoning.

She woke believing this dream proved
a new door would soon open for her—
she’d step from the humdrum
into the visionary life she’d envisioned
for herself

but her patient waiting
didn’t persuade the door
nor did a fierce push

and so
hoping to avoid the pain of frustration
she accepted that job painting stock scenes
on handmade tea cups:

with a few deft strokes of her brushes
she’d create a warmhearted scenario
on the side of each cup—
for instance
a doe and her fawn watching
a rising sun wake
a mellow blue meadow.

As expected
this repetitive work
dulled mind and body
and so, her thoughts shifted from doors
to rummage instead
through the cluttered minutiae
of her mundane life

until…

near the end of one workday
her blank mind lost track
of the routine
and when she snapped her focus back
our painter suddenly saw the usual
with new eyes—

saw anew
the little ceramic cup
she held in her hand—
saw anew
the quiet scene
of a sleeping cottage
watched over by
a full vanilla moon:

the rendering, mediocre
but in its lack of affectation
so innocent…so pure…

what’d seemed so trite
then became the ideal.

Though the five o’clock bell
soon broke her spell
she remained receptive

and so
as our artist opened
the warehouse exit door
she saw anew

the big trash barrel

the gray parking lot
with its faded yellow stripes

and at its border
the beige stucco wall
of the building next door—

saw anew
and finally realized

those things were
her green field
her well
her blue flowers
her purple mountain

her dream.

From that time on
she found her dream
in so many places
in so many things:

as a result
her ordinary world
became an extraordinary world
and her mundane life
became visionary.
 

myth steps blog
© 2018, Michael R. Patton

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