image via majic.com
So, I got “freshly pressed” yesterday. This means that, for a day or two, one of my posts was featured on the wordpress.com homepage, and got about three thousand more views than it would have otherwise. Seriously: three thousand. That is a lot.
I was surprised to find out how much this meant to me: the thrill of seeing my post highlighted and the fun of reading all the lovely, chatty comments and receiving all the “likes” on the post. It was a very Sally Field kind of experience. Thanks, Whoever You Are at WordPress, for liking me.
Of course, my freshly pressed status is fleeting. Already, my little post has crept nearly to the last spot on the page; by tomorrow it will probably be out of the limelight entirely. And while my heart will go on, this brush with WordPress glory made me think about how many of life’s other little joys and moments of beauty are also fleeting. Yes, friends, deep thoughts were thunk in Litchfield this week.
Here are some of the things of beauty that are giving me fleeting joy these days: our charming and delicious gingerbread house, which grows less beautiful with each piece of candy we enjoy; our Christmas tree, which even though it is artificial will not, alas, remain lit and haphazardly decorated in our living room forever; the crisp, clean, fresh winter air that is tinged with just the barest hint of snow.
And also: the first lines of Endymion, a poem by Keats, who is possibly my favorite Romantic poet besides Coleridge and Shelley (like the Gospel writers, each Romantic poet is my favorite as I read him, except for Wordsworth, who is the Cranky Matt in this scenario). In fact, the first two lines have been running through my head for the past few days, improperly linked up with Shakespeare’s “but thy eternal summer shall not fade.”
Shakespeare is not a bad poet, either, but let’s take a moment to savor the quiet bower Keats’ Endymion has kept for us:
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Iambic pentameter. Heroic couplets. Yes, please.
Read a little more of the poem here, or pick up a real, paper copy from your library or book store (or, if you simply must, your e-reader of choice). For me, there’s something about Keats that made me go hunting for my copy of his Complete Poems so I could read the poem on paper. I think he would have wanted it that way.
How about you? What fleeting joys and things of beauty are you treasuring this week?
The Sleep of Endymion