47 By such and such an offering

 

By such and such an offering
To Mr So and So –
The web of life is woven –
So martyrs albums show!

[Emily Dickinson]

This is the last poem from 1858! Bound into Fascicle 2.

What makes all the difference in this web of life is what the offering is and to which Mr So and So. If you needed a reason to take a long look at your life, here it is. Thanks, Em!

Peace and Namaste –

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46 Before the ice is in the pools

 

Before the ice is in the pools –
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow –

Before the fields have finished –
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder opon wonder –
Will arrive to me!

What we touch the hems of
On a summer’s day –
What is only walking
Just a bridge away –

That which sings so – speaks so –
When there’s no one here –
Will the frock I wept in
Answer me to wear?

[Emily Dickinson]

Written late 1858 and bound into fascicle 2.

Ah, Nature. Summer. Time. What a thrill it is to be alive!

Love and Namaste –

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45 I counted till they danced so – “Snow flakes.”

 

Snow flakes.

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town –
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down –
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig –
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written late 1858, in Fascicle 2 – the first of three poems to have a title!

This is so sweet, so joyous – the innocence with which nature elicits joy.

Prig – a self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if they are superior to others.

Peace, Love, and Namaste –

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44 The guest is gold and crimson

 

The Guest is gold and crimson –
An Opal guest, and gray –
Of ermine is his doublet –
His Capuchin gay –

He reaches town at nightfall –
He stops at every door –
Who looks for him at morning –
I pray him too – explore
The Lark’s pure territory –
Or the Lapwing’s shore!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written in late 1858 and bound into Fascicle 2.

Lapwing – a bird native to the American Northeast.

Love and namaste –

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Is the Wage Gap Even Real?

Women argue with me every time I suggest that the pervasive statistics on the wage gap are wrong. They cite personal examples and refuse to grant credence to my ideas. But now, thanks to this 5 minute video, I know for a fact that the traditional idea of women making 77 cents to every dollar a man makes is wrong – when other factors are considered, that gap is reduced from 23 cents to about 6 cents.

But that 23 cents didn’t come out of thin air – it’s calculated by dividing the median wages of all women working full time by the median wages of all men working full time. As the video I linked above shows, this doesn’t take into account other important factors, chief among them the often underrated and entirely unpaid choice to birth children. But the primary culprit is job choice. More women are teachers. More men are aerospace engineers. More women are social workers, and more men are investment bankers.

Women tend to choose paths of connection and health, while men chase money and power. And which of these does our society value more?

You don’t need to be a statistician to know that we live in a society valuing competition over connection, infrastructure over mental health, technology over education, and money over connection.

So it’s no surprise that most of the jobs that require intense masculine yang energy are higher paying than those that require soft feminine yin energy.

So, ladies and gents, when you bring up the wage gap, please change your language. Yes, patriarchy is a real thing, but it’s not perpetuated by companies choosing to pay men more than they pay women. It’s far more systemic than that, and reducing it to physical gender misses the point entirely. It’s a preference for masculine energy over feminine, a valuing of intensity over ease, power over empathy.

Let’s keep using that 77 cents on the dollar statistic. But take sex out of the equation and start talking about masculine and feminine. About the fact that our society pays engineers and lawyers and investment bankers hundreds of thousands more than teachers and social workers and counselors. And maybe we’ll start making progress.

Peace, Love, and Namaste –

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43 Through lane it lay – thro’ bramble

 

Through lane it lay – thro’ bramble –
Through clearing and thro’ wood –
Banditti often paassed us
Opon the lonely road.

The wolf came peering curious –
The Owl looked puzzled down –
The serpent’s satin figure
Glid stealthily along,

The tempests touched our garments –
The lightning’s poinards gleamed –
Fierce from the Crag above us
The hungry Vulture screamed –

The Satyrs fingers beckoned –
The Valley murmured “Come” –
These were the mates –
This was the road
These Children fluttered home.

[Emily Dickinson]

Written late 1858 and copied into Fascicle 2.

This reminds me of another book I’ve been chewing on – The Pilgrim’s Progress. The Path is not easy, but it is beautiful, Light filled, and ultimately worthwhile; redemptive and sure. Life is filled with trials, but the joy is that much sweeter for them.

Banditti – plural of bandit! I never knew.
Poinards [or poniards] – daggers.
Satyrs – mythological creatures associated with Dionysius, i.e. constantly drunk and roaming the forest in search of a good time.

I read this as an encouragement. Yes, she’s acknowledging the trials that come in life, but it still ends with the children fluttering home. Fluttering. Lightly, sweetly, ease-fully. Let’s flutter.

Peace and Namaste –

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42 There is a word

 

There is a word
Which bears a sword
Can pierce an armed man –
It hurls it’s barbed syllables
And is mute again –
But where it fell
The saved will tell
On patriotic day,
Some epauletted Brother
Gave his breath away.

Wherever runs ts the breathless sun –
Wherever roams the day,
There is it’s noiseless onset –
There is it’s victory!
Behold the keenest marksman!
The most accomplished shot!
Time’s sublimest target
Is a soul “forgot”!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written late 1858, bound into Fascicle 2.

Damn. She winds this up so well and packs that punch at the end. At first you think it could be joyful, maybe it’s not bad – the terms victory and all those exclamation marks had me starting to smile as I read it. But then, then she pulls it all out from under you. To be forgotten. Is this really the worst possible thing? Whether you agree with her or not, this begs the question: forgotten by whom? Loved ones? Future generations? God? Hmm.

Peace and Love and Namaste –

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41 I often passed the village

 

I often passed the Village
When going home from school –
And wondered what they did there –
And why it was so still –

I did not know the year then,
In which my call would come –
Earlier, by the Dial,
Than the rest have gone.

It’s still than the sundown.
It’s cooler than the dawn –
The Daisies dare to come here –
And birds can flutter down –

So when you are tired –
Or – perplexed – or cold –
Trust the loving promise
Underneath the mould,
Cry “it’s I,” “take Dollie,”
And I will enfold!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written autumn 1858, bound into Fascicle 3 the following year.

Dollie was a nickname for Emily’s dear friend, Susan.

Peace, Love, & Namaste –

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40 I hav’nt told my garden yet

I hav’nt told my garden yet –
Lest that should conquer me.
I hav’nt quite the strength now
To break it to the Bee –

I will not name it in the street
For shops w’d stare at me –
That one so shy -so ignorant
Should have the face to die.

The hillsides must not know it –
Where I have rambled so –
Nor tell the loving forests
The day that I shall go –

Nor lisp it at the table –
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the Riddle
One will walk today –

[Emily Dickinson]

We made it to 40! In many more than 40 days, I know, but really I don’t mind if this takes the next ten years of my life. I’ll be reading her poetry forever, and I can only post when it feels right.

This one was written in autumn 1858, in Fascicle 3. Interesting that she seems especially sensitive about death here, not quite at peace with it, not strong enough to let people know it’s coming.

Love, peace, and namaste –

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