Friday, February 21, 2014

The Realm of Minimus

Being tiny earned me the name Minimus, which I never minded because it's a superlative of 'parvus'  meaning least, smallest. Superlative is generally how I see the world from my perch.
I'm a companionable sort in a Gloucester tradition. Charles Olson's Maximus lives across town in The Fort. Maximus is a 6'8" tall bear who helps poets with words like 'proprioception.' I think proprioception is important, too, especially when I'm making fancy turns near the book shelf. Maximus worked on translating Mayan petroglyphs. I'm more of a granite type myself, living in a glass house, pondering Halibut Point. I'm not about to throw stones.
Being acquainted with Nature I have to keep an eye on my writer friend's flights of fancy. When he comes back from his rambles I remind him to get to the Point. Both Maximus and I reiterate Thoreau's mantra, "Simplify. Simplify. Simplify." Sometimes I just throw up my wings in despair.
Recently my pal took up painting, and started moving the plants around. I'm colorful, so I figured he'd want to try painting the bird at hand. Why he chose the terra cotta pot instead  is beyond me. Maybe it was simplicity. Yeah, maybe that's it.
It's important in my job to stay positive. People are trying. Emily Dickinson said, "Hope is the thing with feathers/ that perches on the soul." I keep my head up and wade in.
My inspiration is Jules Verne's character Passepartout. You remember the  valet who got Phineas Fogg around the world in eighty days.
      Passepartout sourit de son meilleur sourire.
      "Jamais trop tard", dit-il....
      Passepartout sortit, tout courant.
[Which means,  "Passepartout smiled his best smile. 'Never too late,' he said....Passepartout took off, without hesitation."]
Phineas Fogg  and  Passepartout wind up variously saving each other in the story. They have an indispensable and correct relationship. I know my place, too.
A lofty perch helps clarify  my care of the realm, a bit of height and distance from the busyness below, a perfect vantage for over-the-shoulder ministry. My Gospel song softens his writer's block. A responsive chorus ripples from his desk.

The titmouse, busy among the leaves of the maple in the wood; the wren, guarding his little domicile in the pear-tree of the garden; and the ruby-throated humming-bird, darting from flower to flower on the vines climbing the cottage-wall, ̶  are minute marvels of beauty and activity, turning the thoughts to Him who made them as ever mindful of his wee and slender creatures, observing the least one's mishap or fall.

Henry C. Leonard, Pigeon Cove and Vicinity, 1873.

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