Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another poem

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.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

It feels vaguely inappropriate to post this today, when the world is on a genuine high, using words like awesome, amazing, excited, inspired, thrilled. And truly, I do believe this is a transformative day in our nation's history. But similar to our church having a service for those grieving & in pain during Advent, when I came across these few lines it occurred to me that it is helpful to remind ourselves that we too have our own 'place in the family of things', just as President Obama has his.

The poem touched a bit of a nerve I guess, and I liked it.

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