Little Mercies


It’s Saturday today, and I’m in no mood to burn my energy. I am listening to Mary Gauthier. For all her little mercies.

I look out of the window at the purple tulips.
I see a bug, sipping its nectar so zestfully. It’s an ugly old fellow. UGLY INDEED. But does it matter? Without its little mercies, where would the beautiful tulips be?

I sip a cup of coffee.
As the caffeine penetrates my endodermis I stretch in satisfaction. I am reminded then, that I live on the little mercies — of Brazilian women breaking their backs in a far-away coffee plantation.

I pick up my newspaper.
This one is dropped punctually by that kid in his bicycle who disappears with a flourish. Without his little mercy I would not see the world as it is.

I switch on the TV.
I see a child prodigy winning the world famous ‘spelling bee.’ Of course he is an Indian American! I see his father-turned-coach beam with pride. His mother is sitting alone– hardly showing emotions. I wonder whether her son could quite make it without her little mercies.

There is the postman at my door.
He has walked in the minus-twenty cold to deliver my mail. It seems I received something special for Christmas. I thank him. But does it matter to him, whether the news is good or bad? He delivers it with utmost care, anyway. Thank God for his little mercies.

I switch on my computer and check my email accounts. Yes, I have THREE. One, I keep exclusively for junk mail. That’s for little mercies.

Then I scurry around the web — turning myself into an avatar of hyper-reality. I wonder, when all this is over, when I have sold myself to this virtual world, whether illusion is a reality. Before I switch off my computer I watch a funny video on You-tube, just for little mercies.

The alarm clock screams from my bedroom.
I have decided not to wake her. Today is my day of cooking. Her favorite crab meat. She does it everyday. How could I survive without her little mercies?

I want to open a tomato can.
Can’t find that can-opener. That Terrier of mine must be playing with it. I grab it from her, reluctantly. Without the little mercies of the can-opener, there wouldn’t be any food for me. 

My student gives me a call.
I can sense the renewed confidence in his voice. He asks me to join him for a drink that evening. I oblige. I may be his teacher but without his little mercies I would never know what to teach. 

I put on my Gap Khakis.
I can see the workmanship in the cut. I think of the little weaver in a China sweatshop and wonder without their little mercies whether I could ever wear this.

I drive past the Empire State.
What a mighty little building. I see a laborer on a scaffold. Without his little mercies I wonder where the Empire State would be.

He reminds me that his birthday.
I nod my end in apology for forgetting. I shake his hands and remind him of his twenty-second revolution around the sun. He smiles at me with a look that says ‘I can’t believe it.’ I pat his shoulder and ask him to think of his little mercies.
I drive back home.
I wonder about that bug on my tulips. It may be UGLY but it makes such BEAUTIFUL things. 

My Terrier stands at the door
He has an impish bark.  I wonder about his maker. I assume he is ugly. Without his little mercies he could never have done anything as beautiful as her.

I wonder about that bug again.

""…Without his little mercy I would not see the world as it is….""

I realize it has never once looked at a mirror. So it could never know whether its beautiful or ugly. I think of my maker again. I’m sure s(he) hasn’t either. Why was it that only ‘we’ look at the mirror and determine if things are beautiful or ugly. Perhaps for little mercies.

I go to bed.
I think of all the people in the other part of the world. They will be waking to a sunrise. They are exactly opposite to me, geographically. In fact they are upside down, or am I? Without gravity and its little mercies, wonder where all of us would be.

The night has come. 
I remember the day. I realize that I took one rotation around this earth today. Without the earth’s little mercies would I ever age?

I take a small note pad.
And under the shadows of the stars
I pen this little thought ?just  for little mercies:

The BEAUTY and the UGLY 
is perhaps just a nuance of time.
One day, both
shall together rhyme
in death

I hope I wake up tomorrow
To enjoy the little mercies…

Author: Newton Dsouza- USA