the butterfly thing

05/27/2022 0 By BuddyCushman

I got to read my poetry at the open mic in Ocean Beach last night, for the second Thursday in a row. And for the second Thursday in a row, my name was drawn from the hat next-to-last. I parked my car up the street at 5:30, strolled up to the microphone just after 9:30. If there must be some lesson learned from just making my way through a day, I’d take a guess and travel back to childhood and say it’s this – patience is a virtue.

On this morning’s walk, a while ago, I had the chance to think about patience – as a thing – and its possible blood-brother or sisterhood relation with acceptance. Like, that’s when your name came out of the hat, kid. Sit here and fidget and moan, or sit here and wait, grateful for the chance to share. Grateful to be alive to have the opportunity of showing off all this fabulous patience and acceptance that’s me on a Thursday, and speaking your poems, a hundred yards from the Pacific.

And then there’s the truth. I’m not big on acceptance. Even if it’s the only show in town. This world is a place of endless hurting. Sure, I accept that. Even when there are more guns than butterflies. But I’ve got no patience for it.

So, what do I do? I go to the Thursday open mic and wait gratefully for the chance to walk up there, take a breath, and read my poem “When I was a Goose.” It makes me happy, and in the remaining audience I see genuine smiles in their listening. Their chance just to listen.

It’s what I do, these days, with the butterfly thing.