Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ordinary

It felt like the middle of the night when my radio clicked on at 6:20 am, and it's a gray November morning. I'm hoping for something out of the ordinary today, but can't think what that could be. Then I remembered this poem, about admiring the ordinary. That might have to do, today.

God Went to Beauty School, by Cynthia Rylant

He went there to learn how
to give a good perm
and ended up just crazy
about nails
so He opened up His own shop.
"Nails by Jim" He called it.
He was afraid to call it
Nails by God.
He was sure people would
think He was being
disrespectful and using
His own name in vain
and nobody would tip.
He got into nails, of course,
because He'd always loved
hands were some of the best things
He'd ever done
and this way He could just
hold one in His
and admire those delicate
bones just above the knuckles,
delicate as birds' wings,
and after He'd done that
He could paint all the nails
any color He wanted,
then say,
and mean it.

Last week I finished the audiobook of Bull's Island, by Dorothea Benton Frank. She writes romance novels about women from the Charleston, SC area, and I always read (or hear) them, and I'm always amazed at how much time her characters spend in beauty salons, not because I think it's a waste of time, particularly, but because her characters judge other women who are not devoted to salon rituals so harshly. There's nothing that makes a beauty salon seem more inviting than the scene in Legally Blonde where she gets her nails done so she can talk about what's bothering her with a sympathetic woman, and there's nothing that makes a salon seem less inviting than reading about the scornful attitude of the manicured crowd. The picture of God painting fingernails and holding hands restores the rosy color of the image, for me.


Anonymous said...

It's gray here, too. Still not having any luck. But I used to have to enter that word to make sure I'm not automated. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.


Harriet said...

I love it. Is that the same Cynthia Rylant who writes those lovely children's books like Henry and Mudge, which sadlly, AJ has outgrown?

Jeanne said...

Yes, it's the same Cynthia Rylant. Walker liked some of those Henry and Mudge books. She also wrote Cat Heaven, which helped Walker through the death of our aged cat when he was a preschooler. Now I notice that our vet has that title and Dog Heaven out in the waiting room.