Tag Archives : poetry

Wild Geese

 image from here
In all my talks of “good enough” and self-compassion, I stumbled upon this poem on another blog I read.
I read it first in my journal therapy training and I think the universe knew it was time for a re-read. Here goes: 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 thelandscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and therivers.

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.

“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver
from Dream Work
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

over and over

announcing your place

in the family of things

Thank you…
Mary Oliver
fellow bloggers
you make my day.

Free Friday: Live so the poems can find you

On Monday I posted the poem “A Valentine for Ernest Mann” and soon realized the words had a strong connection to the meaning behind this blog…”to live in the moment and make it beautiful.”

If beauty can be found in two skunks, it can be found anywhere, right?
As Ernest said, “Nothing was ugly just because the world said so.”
The message behind the poem is the message I hope to convey in what I write in this very spot.

Beauty isn’t going to fall out of the sky and hit us across the head every day. 
Sometimes we have to go and find it. 
Sometimes “what we have to do is live in a way that lets us find (it)” as Naomi Shihab Nye writes.

Just as I have to mentally re-invent cleaning, and other mundane chores to make myself “want” to do them, “Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us we find poems” (Nye).
“Making it beautiful” is all about taking what we have and finding a poem. 
Taking a commonplace job and making it a nut farm.

Taking a scratched up, dilapidated door and making it a pretty shade of green

Taking a moment full of tears, fear, and doubt and turning it into a moment of recognition, hope and LOVE. 
 AJH loves most everything she comes in contact with
…Even skunks.
 (that’s a baby skunk she’s “loving” from her forest friends collection!)
In beautiful, serendipitous fashion, today I came across this post called “Live so the poems can find you” (guest post by Joanna Paterson) on Patti Digh’s blog, 37 Days.
I love it when that happens.
Here is how the author puts the phrase “live so the poems can find you” into practice:
“Spending as much time as possible outside
Taking photos.  I mean rather: taking photos with a mindset of wonder.

Making room for writing practice

Allowing what flows to be practice. Not perfect, not wholly formed.  Just practice

Sharing at least some of what comes out.  Poems do not like to be kept in boxes.

Letting the words tumble, and find their own rhythm

Noticing patterns, looking for connections

Listening to what people are saying (social media provides clue after clue)

Embracing beginner’s mind

Paying attention to the everyday.  There’s so much wonder to be

found there.Writing as part of the act of grieving

Listening to what the land, the water, the trees, the hills…are saying.

Listening to what my heart is saying: tears, laughter, whispers, songs, prayers, fire, softness

Passing it on: not being scared to share my work, not being scared to declare how beautiful the world is, passing on what I’ve learned about how it is possible to live, so the poems can find you.”

Happy Friday.
This weekend try to live so the poems can find you.
And don’t forget to LOVE.

Free Friday: First Knowing

A friend sent this poem to me after reading my “I am still a mommy” post. I thought some other mommies may appreciate it, too. 
“First Knowing”
That second day of kindergarten, I ditched
while Miss Clemens bent at the sink,
helping Peter Farley wash the paint off his hands.
I scurried across the wide green fields that led
to the road where our row
of white townhouses awaited me.
I wanted no more days without my mother
placed in the center of every hour.
I wanted her voice, the scent of the perfume
she dabbed on her wrist each morning
before we watched my father walk away.
We stood at her dresser while she released
the stopper from a crystal bottle so blue
it rivaled sunlight staining the ocean surface.

I wanted to travel with her
from supermarket, to bank, dry cleaners
to drugstore, wherever the days life took her.
As if sensing some hunger to come,
I craved her with a fierceness that made me run,
as if knowing I would soon lose her to a sadness
vaster than any of these fields I could cover
with the pace of my own feet.

~Andrea Potos

Love this:I wanted no more days without my mother placed in the center of every hour.”
Love the weekend, which = countless hours to kiss those chubby cheeks.

Happy Friday!