On Being a Pearl

“Our man works in his garret, therefore, in the hope of becoming a pearl.”

Excerpt From: 1694-1778 Voltaire. “Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/voltaires-philosophical-dictionary/id510945575?mt=11


I shall be a pearl today and so shall you. The secret to the art rests not in the word “becoming” nor in “hope” but in the imagination’s power of admission. 

One is more of the pearl as she grows older than of the sand. 

The secret is work. 

The metaphor is made manifest by your life in the garret. 

Later today I will read a poem in memory of Steven Taylor, an activist scholar who fought on behalf of people with disabilities. He was in his own way a pearl.


Mid Day, Elegy



—in memoriam, Steven Taylor



A blackbird sat and called in the pine just west of the house, its voice so clear at first I thought it was water, as if I’d heard the coming rain—

the coming rain but discrete, rain a hundred miles away. 

Though I’m blind I saw the bird—


I saw the bird, saw him as I see, merely shape and hue; I knew he was night itself,

at noon, night alive. 

Mid day, a blackbird calling west of the house, 

Shape and hue; blind; saw him, night coming 


and saw too how we make work of it

as the day spins forward, unmindful,

our work, night alive, a blackbird calling,

the alert and unmindful day.



The pearl derives from what we do with the unmindful day. Make your day the garret. 







Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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