The title of this post is the title of a poem by Linda Gregg. Like all good poetry, it both steadies me and gives me a shove, offers both safety and edge. I’ve been reading it a lot lately mainly because the bit about managing greetings and farewells seems eminently doable . . . as my to-do list fills up and overflows and my good summer intentions are tested. I can do that, I think to myself, I can manage small.*
We Manage Most When We Manage Small
What things are steadfast? Not the birds. Not the bride and groom who hurry in their brevity to reach one another. The stars do not blow away as we do. The heavenly things ignite and freeze. But not as my hair falls before you. Fragile and momentary, we continue. Fearing madness in all things huge and their requiring. Managing as thin light on water. Managing only greetings and farewells. We love a little, as the mice huddle, as the goat leans against my hand. As the lovers quickening, riding time. Making safety in the moment. This touching home goes far. This fishing in the air.
*Apologies for the super literal reading of a poem that is much deeper than that. Then again, I guess I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking what I need from a work of literature.