Un ragazzo chiamato Bi

One Day in Rome #3

Yesterday the poet Mary Oliver died. Yesterday some very small children at the French language, Catholic school, near Little India yelled through the fence at passers by “Give us all your money, or else” (in English) and giggled maniacally. Yesterday, like most days, I quietly drank coffee, it was grown in Brazil and Columbia, and had journeyed Northwards to a cup in my cold hands, an everyday miracle. Happiness connects all these things.

Of course we are not joyful that the poet died, but I’m pretty certain that Mary Oliver understood happiness as much as any of us can hope to. I failed to write about this photograph last year. I wanted to, but the words got muddled up. Then yesterday I read this stanza from Oliver’s work When Death Comes

“When it’s over, I want to say all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my


I remembered this picture and how it encapsulated hope and happiness. The bubbles and the travelling bubble blower, the excitedly embracing couple, the baby held in an onlooker’s arms. Wherever they are today I hope they still remember how to be this happy. I thought about the poet and her appreciation of everyday miracles.

Today my coffee was from Ethiopia and Honduras, I silently toasted Mary Oliver.

Blog photograph copyrighted to the photographer and used with permission by utata.org. All photographs used on utata.org are stored on flickr.com and are obtained via the flickr API. Text is copyrighted to the author, Rachel Irving and is used with permission by utata.org. Please see Show and Share Your Work