Hymn to everyday beauty

Practicing the maintenance of extreme delight.

percy_bysshe_shelley

Percy Shelley, calling your inner poet

A while back, I read an interview with the brilliant Amy Adams. I’m not even sure why I was drawn to the article since I usually don’t enjoy reading about celebrities. (Honest.) I think I’m still so mesmerized by her performance in that scene around the kitchen table in Junebug that I couldn’t resist finding out a little something about her.  (Seriously, I don’t usually read about celebrities! Why can’t you believe me?)

Anyway, she told the interviewer the most delightful thing. She was talking about how much she loves drinking coffee. I’m paraphrasing here, but she said that sometimes she’s so excited at night, knowing that she gets to have a cup of coffee when she wakes up the next morning, that she can’t get to sleep. I just love that. I mean, I really love that.

I love that she reminded me to be intensely happy whenever I’m so inclined. The Charm-o-Matic revels in those moments.

When you think about it, this feeling of extreme delight is the stuff of poetry. It’s the essence of an artist at work. It’s about finding the happy bits of your life and celebrating them with the abandon of a poet. Who can forget Shelley’s famous line from Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, “I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!”

You don’t have to be one of the famous instigators of the Romantic movement to find inspiration. The switch from grand poet to everyday person is simple: You’re not writing lines of verse, but you’re at work on your life, and your job is to enjoy it. Your art is in allowing the small things that delight you to bring inordinate pleasure. This goes deeper than a mere outpouring of emotion, though – our own Emily Dickinson thought of it another way: “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”

That’s tapping into the charm happening all around you. Either that, or it’s just a really, really, really good cup of coffee.

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