Popular sayings aside, the way to remain charmed is to see from a distance.  “Charmed, I’m sure,” sounds attributable to Mae West while she bat her eye lashes. 

Music albums, businesses, blogs and nearly a thousand other entities and quotes on Google bear the phrase: “Charmed, I’m sure.” Why so permanent in our repertoire of expressions?  

Reality is quite the contrary.

A Charm invests a face

Imperfectly beheld —

The Lady dare not lift her Vail

For fear it be dispelled —


But peers beyond her mesh —

And wishes — and denies —

Lest Interview — annul a want

That Image — satisfies —

(Emily Dickinson)

Think about the face of democracy to subjects of tyranny, or, the

Face of a lost teenage sweetheart to one nearing old age,

Face of wealth to the poor,

Face of companionship to the lonely,

Face of capitalism to communism’s pawns,

Face of freedom to one stuck in a bad marriage.

The imperfect view, like that of “The Lady (who) dare not lift her Vail”, will not be dispelled, only as long as she “peers beyond her mesh”.

Neither is there grace in deprivation.  The way to enjoy the attraction of a “face” is to ride the seesaw of want and restraint: “And wishes — and denies —”.

Better fearful of tyranny while working for others’ happiness than drawn into democracy’s excesses.

Better to remember the teenager who delighted you perfectly than discover too late the ravages of time on a spirit.

Better to feel poverty than squander other people’s money in a free market.

Better to give comfort to many than drain one person of their resources of companionship.

Better to free others from bondage than destroy a bank, taking millions of dollars in severance.

Better to be single and remain fascinated than to live selfishly.

Digest a poem a day — Accept what comes your way