Ed recently sent information that upset me greatly. Seems one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, is seriously ill. I wanted to post quickly, but couldn’t.
When I was first introduced to her poems I was going through a very difficult time. The world was trying to keep me in the box that I had been in for too long. Attempting to escape, I was assaulted at every turn by well-meaning friends accusing me of not knowing what I was doing. They just couldn’t see how unhappy and caged I was.
I don’t want to sound cliché (even if this is), but I came across Wild Geese by Mary Oliver and it was like the wind shifted the cloud I was under and allowed the sun to shine on my face for a brief moment. When you’re unsure of yourself, sometimes it only takes a brief something, as seemingly small as this, to give you the strength and courage required to keep moving.
To Mary Oliver I just want to say thank you.
To all of you find that one thing that will give you courage.
To those who haven’t been introduced to the beauty of Mary Olivers’ poetry – I give you Wild Geese.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
-posted by Susan