I could definitely benefit if I had more ambition.  The gift of wealth creation is not mine. The tendency to obsess, to be lazy, to make up lofty sounding speeches and poems: now that I can do.

The poem, “Tho’ my destiny be Fustian —”, by Emily Dickinson, suggests strongly to get over myself.

Tho’ my destiny be Fustian — 

Hers be damask fine — 

Tho’ she wear a silver apron — 

I, a less divine — 

 

Still, my little Gypsy being

I would far prefer — 

Still, my little sunburnt bosom

To her Rosier — 

 

For, when Frosts, their punctual fingers

On her forehead lay,

You and I, and Dr Holland,

Bloom Eternally!

 

Roses of a steadfast summer

In a steadfast land — 

Where no Autumn lifts her pencil —  

And no Reapers stand!

It is absolutely, in more ways than one, “my destiny (to) be Fustian”. A strong fabric of cotton and linen, fustian also means high-flown or affected speech. In other words, common as dirt and full of it. Nailed!

The poem doesn’t advise self-hate. Quite the contrary.

When I see someone who wears the best clothes, “damask fine —” and, absurdly, “wear a silver apron — ”, I feel heartened that I have never wanted to be anyone else. Despite suffering some of the worst anguish life has to offer, “Still, my little Gypsy being/I would far prefer — ”

When my new husband and long-lost-high-school sweetheart turned out to be someone unwilling or unable to help create the marriage we’d hoped for, my every sinew shouted: bolt!  

I had to feel an old dream die; “(f)or, when Frosts, their punctual fingers/On her forehead lay,” it was the death of a huge part of me. I left town.  

Now, I seek “In a steadfast land — ” no less, no more than “Where no Autumn lifts her pencil — /And no Reapers stand!”

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way

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