Times such as these can erode our sense of mystery about being itself, just being. Of course in the West meaning is what holds a hierarchy of value. “But it’s meaningless,” we hear. Or “I really need to do something meaningful.”
Being is a wonder. It can be especially important now not to dismiss that there is no such thing as “merely” mundane. I have to admit to tiring of hearing lives devalued by some to “dailiness.”

Nancy Willard’s work steadfastly holds to recognizing wonder, the magic of what can be taken for granted. You may know of her A Visit to William Blake’s Inn. Nancy had a great personal impact on our daughter Meridith when she was young. And on this guy always.

This gives me a chance to say thank you to you, reading this, for sustaining this project, this journeyman in his own explorations of dailiness.



This morning after the angels had put on
their scarves and mittens and said their
goodbyes and headed out into the surprise

of the first snow, he put away the recipe
for crepes, washed the plates, the other
dishes, silverware, put the butter in cold

water, and poured a second cup of coffee.
The moon was not yet set at 8:30, and it
made him remember how he never wanted

to leave his grandmother, her house, her
porch, her lap where she would read
to him, often a chapter from Moby Dick

or a comic—Felix the Cat, Buck Rogers—
an Uncle Wiggly story, something from
the King James Bible. Today he knew

what lay ahead: He would feed the fish
in his little pond, cut back what he’d left
in the flower bed, get pumpernickel bread

and orange marmalade, then the mail, maybe
stop at Jane’s Depot and buy some new
warm socks. And he needed to decide

what book next to read. And what
to have tomorrow for breakfast when
the angels would be back around 7:30.

for Nancy Willard


–Jack Ridl

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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20 thoughts on “Dailiness

  1. Lovely! And happy belated birthday as you sit on the deck overlooking the water. May all the fish of the sea and birds of the skies join you this time of the angels! Mary


    • Mary Mary who knows how to be contrary for all the right reasons, Thank You!
      The magic of the creatures has indeed joined the angels here this morning.
      Hey, yer one of those visiting angels! See? We never know.

  2. What a delightful find to charish on this “drizzmal” (my husbands word) April morning.

    • Dave was a poet! He’s your muse! You have his great good
      permission and soul to turn to always.
      And ya know what? Tis a drizzmal morning here this morning.
      We keep hoping that you are allllll better, or almost all better.

  3. Einstein and Planck echoed what the ancients had been saying all along: Just beneath the veil of our conditioned five senses, the play of being exists and awaits……………………………..

    • Charles, So good of you to write this! I couldn’t have said it better
      myself. Actually I couldn’t have even come close to saying it, would
      have been reduced to grunts and mumbles. Grunts & Mumbles–an old
      vaudeville team!
      I love that they used the word “play,” a much misused, misapplied,
      and misunderstood word/way of being.
      Thank you. When are you going to come visit?

    • Both! And they will dance with you on the head of a pin or
      on any pinheads bugging ya!
      In the words of Groucho Marx, “No! No! Thank YOU!!!”

    • Chris, please know how happy your message has made me. I have told
      those angels to come to your place every morning. Enter gently,
      my Friend.

    • Goooood morning!! The angels just left, heading down to Mallory Square.
      I think you know of Nancy Willard. She has been a major influence on
      me and on Meridith, always will be.
      Her home was magic–doll houses, puppet theaters, on and on.
      The grandkids need to have all her books!

    • Rich, I’m so grateful you let me know. I truly do believe that
      certain poems are meant to be useful. I guess I hope all mine
      aspire to be. When that need sneaks back, I hope these angels
      do too.

    • Now, Jane, don’t you mean that you are about to head out to mix
      in dailiness with all the activist work you do for everyone!
      I’m sure grateful. Hey, are you one of those angels?

  4. Delightful. Especially meaningful for us today. Thank you from the heart of my bottom. (A phrase often used by a friend from India.)

    • Eileen, I’m so delighted that you appreciated this. Thanks
      for letting me know. AND–oh my gosh, am I ever gonna steal
      and use your friend’s phrase!!!!!

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