"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

consolation . . .

Consolation 3Sometimes when we’re feeling down in the dumps, something happens out of the blue that jolts us back to counting our blessings.

The other day, we were watching the local news when we saw that there was a raging fire on the main street of a neighboring town. Alarmed, I remembered that we knew a sweet, vibrant woman who had moved to that vicinity when they downsized their home, who also happened to be the daughter of my former piano tuner.

T., the father, had tuned my Steinway grand piano when I lived in Lexington while the kids were in high school. He always wore a suit and tie when he came to service the piano. When we met his daughter, K. at a book party given by some friends, we were delighted to learn Read the rest of this entry »

“wild geese” . . .

One of Mary Oliver’s poems, “Wild Geese” may be a universal favorite and is often quoted, as it is here below. But first, I wanted to reflect on why it is so popular.

I think it might be because many of us women are used to blaming ourselves for everything under the sun when someone we know is unhappy. Especially, if we also happen to be mothers. We will go to inordinate lengths to make others feel all right again even when we are bruised ourselves.

But never mind. The most important thing to do is to brush away crumbs of conflict. We put away our little heart-shaped box of true feelings that escaped for awhile ~ as though we didn’t really have a right to have them in the first place. If I’m the only one who experiences this phenomenom, then please tell me otherwise.

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.

~ Mary Oliver ~