Thursday, December 31, 2020

Whatever your heart says to say

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
~C. S. Lewis

I have never chosen One Little Word for a year, but I did end up having one for 2020 anyway: flexibility. I feel like that might also be my word for 2021, but I will have to see. (Apparently the word chooses me, not the other way around.)

When I was thinking about what poem to share today, I liked the pairing of Sally Heilbut's "Order on the Phone to a Large Department Store" with Tom Hunley's "If You’ve Met One Autistic Person, You’ve Met One Autistic Person" because they both offer that jolt of seeing things in a new way and embracing surprise. I couldn't find Tom Hunley's poem online, though, so I can only share one stanza of "If You’ve Met One Autistic Person, You’ve Met One Autistic Person":

Who asks how much you weigh? How fast you’ll grow?
Who says whatever their heart says to say?
Don’t let him bend to suit the world, I pray.
Who dreams up paths where no one else can go?
My son’s the only person that I know.


Lily Einhorn shared on Twitter:
My great aunt Sally died on Tuesday night of Covid, 8 days after testing positive in her care home. She wanted to be a poet. She wasn’t really educated, she never had a tutor, an editor or a publisher. But she self-published a pamphlet.

Here is one of Lily's favorites of her great aunt Sally Heilbut's poems:


Wishing you the best in 2021! xo

There's No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Ruth!


Michelle Kogan said...

Hey Tabatha great post, thanks for introducing me to LiIy Einhorn, I'm following her now and read this post of hers from 2019: Wonderful explosion poem by Einhorn's Aunt, and I'd love to read the rest of Tom Hunley's poem. Hope your OLW finds you, Happy 2021! xo

Bridget Magee said...

Thank you for sharing both of these poems/poets, Tabatha. And yes, flexibility chose you even when you didn't know you were in the line up to be chosen! Ugh.
I think we can all agree that great aunt Sally definitely WAS a poet:
"just jolted hard
so that life takes a new angle
and a totally new,
refreshing direction" - wow! An explosion of brilliance. :)

Linda Mitchell said...

Tabatha, wow! the first bit of poem uses that word "path" and I immediately thought of pathways in the brain. Goodness...let's not let our special kids be wired the same ways as the world. They offer us so much brilliance. And, what an amazing poem 'Order from a Department Store' is. I hope this woman by the end of her life knew that she was not just a poet....but a beautiful and admired poet. I may need to think about what I want to order from that store now. Something just as good!

Ruth said...

You always find the best poems. Flexibility was the key to 2020. I'm really hoping for an easier year in 2021 - we'll see!

Linda B said...

It seems to me that Tom Hunley's poem title says it all. A family member who is Asian and has CP has fought others' thinking all her life. And Aunt Sally's poem is one for the world we just left, hoping that "explosion" rid us of what needed to be gone. Thanks, Tabatha, and Happy New Year wishes to you!

Irene Latham said...

"shaken and astonished." YES. Thank you, Tabatha, and I hear you on the word choosing you.... xo

tanita✿davis said...

Oh, Aunt ally WAS a poet - she was, she was, she was. No one can take that away from your Auntie's memory. Thank you for sharing that. Happy New Year!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Happy New Year, T. (And thank you for the Xmas card!) "Whatever your heart has to say" wraps up my feelings quite well about this end of year and all the no-nonsense difficulties it has brought for your family, mine, and so many others. My heart has been talking nonstop. I don't have a Great Aunt Sally who died of Covid but the final days of the year did bring news that a dear 83 year old friend is likely struggling on a ventilator right now. The updates stopping coming, so I fear the worst. Hoping 2021 will turn things around sooner rather than later. Love to you and yours.

Carol Varsalona said...

Happy New Year, Tabatha. "so that life takes a different angle/and a totally new, refreshing direction..." What a great line from Sally's poem. Being flexible during 2020 was a call to action during trying times. Thanks for the post to ponder.

Fran Haley said...

Tabatha, I chose a word for several years through 2020 and pretty much decided that I didn't want to choose one any more. Then in my planner for Jan.1 was a quote about awe, making it happen, etc. So, the word chose me. And awe is what I feel every time I come here to read your selections. They never fail to stir my soul in different ways. Happy New Year to you and thank you for already enriching mine!

laurasalas said...

Yes on explosions--the kind that shake us and wake us without killing people. 2020 was certainly that! And every day can be, too, I think. Thank you, Tabatha, for both of these poems.

Robyn Hood Black said...

You ALWAYS share the best inspirations, Tabatha - both of these offerings are a bold way to start the year, to 'jolt' us into being better humans from the get-go this year. Thank you!!

Margaret Simon said...

The explosion poem is just what I needed to read today, the day before I enter back into a Covid-free school (tongue in cheek). I could use an explosion right about now.

Susan Bruck said...

Thank you for sharing both of these wonderful poems, Tabatha. Just the title of the first one--If you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person--says so much. Thanks for the invitations to see the world a different way. The explosion poem is so beautiful and fun. And I'm sad to hear of another wonderful person who left this world because of Covid. Thanks for sharing one of her poems.
And happy new year. I look forward to finding out what word finds you this year--if any. Maybe one will find me, too.