In the Presence of Greatness

by Belinda Munoz on October 13, 2011

In the presence of greatness,
silence is the space in which
the cosmos finds order and nothing,
not even noise, is out of place.

In the presence of greatness,
color and song converge to
move the muse
to work its magic.

In the presence of greatness,
words become blueprints
of peace, letting lost soldiers
find their way home.

In the presence of greatness,
humble heads bow and
as they lift their gaze,
the road to greatness rolls out the red carpet.


Last night, I had the good fortune of hearing Mary Oliver read her poetry in a sold-out theater and it was truly special. The phrase in the presence of greatness kept running through my head like an adoring fan (much like it does when I visit a museum or when I hear really good musicians live). The above is my attempt to capture that feeling that results from being moved; that feeling that anything is possible.

for imperfect prose

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 [email protected] from a Peaceful Divorce October 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

I love to be inspired like that. Your poem makes me think that sometimes we have to look around for greatness to appreciate. It makes me think of the Joni Mitchell song “Real Good for Free” where people pass by an amazing musician on the street because he is playing for free. Lately I’ve seen a lot of outdoor musicians in the Boston area who are highly talented and I stop and remind myself of how fortunate I am to hear them.


2 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri October 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Wow Belinda! I am envious. What a treat to hear Mary Oliver and her words. That is awesome.


3 ayala October 14, 2011 at 3:40 am

So happy that you had such a special night. I love the poem, Belinda.


4 Mama Zen October 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

What an amazing experience! And, this is a really great piece.


5 Giulietta Nardone October 17, 2011 at 7:38 am

Hi Belinda,

Something reminded me of your blog, so I hoped on over. Now I know why! I love MO and have used that one line in a lot of my life shop marketing materials.

More and more I’ve been feeling that unless we’re all doing something to move humanity toward a more dignified place for all, we’re potentially wasting our gift of life. I wrote last week about Buckminster Fuller’s life long experiment to help humanity.



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