Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a comfy poem

This is an old favorite by Mary Oliver. I remember reading it to a man who had depression, schizophrenia and was an alcoholic, hoping the words would somehow let him stop his cycle of self-blame, if just for a moment. You are good! I wanted to shout. So I'm writing this now to offer myself the same level of compassion:

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails