You are about to discover that I’m on a mission! There is a well-known quotation–usually incorrectly identified as a poem–that has meant a great deal to me. It has meant even more as sad, painful, frustrating and frightening things have happened in my life.
You may have seen the quotation too. It begins….”Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.” It’s the second of two paragraphs at the conclusion of a two page essay. It reminds us that at some point in our lives we may yearn for a mundane, typical, normal day–with its usual frustrations and irritations–to take the place of the painful, tragic or anquishing day we are experiencing.
Here is where my mission comes in: Almost always those lines are attributed to Mary Jean Iron. Hundreds and hundreds of sites have that attribution. I was interested in Ms. Iron, because I wanted to read the excerpt in context. That is when I discovered that there is no Ms. Iron. There is Mary Jean Irion (Ear-e-yon), who, as near as I have been able to research, wrote it in the late 1960s. After it was published in McCalls magazine she included it in a book of essays published in 1970: Yes, World. A Mosaic of Meditation.
Ms. Irion lives in Pennsylvania, wrote for The United Church Herald and was a teacher of English Literature at the Lancaster Country Day School–I think she’s still writing!
She may not care that her name is misspelled on sites that use this quote–in fact I’m sure she doesn’t, given her expressed philosophies. But, I’m on a mission to get her correctly attributed. So far I have contacted 116 sites and asked them to correct it. Most have. I’ll recontact the others and keep going. There have been some interesting results to my contacts and maybe I’ll share those sometime.
Read Mary Jean Irion’s wonderful prose, straight from the book. It’s the conclusion of thoughts about her day, which had both good and bad elements–a normal day.
If you see it incorrectly attributed, let the website know that the correct author is Mary Jean Irion, in the essay, “Let Me Hold You While I May”, in the book, “Yes, World. A Mosaic of Meditation”, published in 1970 by Richard Baron Publishing. And it’s on page 53.