Tonight a poem, well known and beloved. Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese. I keep this one on the side of my fridge. I love poetry. I love to hand copy poems, slow it down, become intimate with each word. There’s something sacred about it.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the
My whole body exhales. Relief. Guilt runs deep and thick in my Irish Catholic family. I feel it in the marrow of my bones. Just recently I realized that part of what this project is is claiming myself. Maybe that’s what the whole thing is about. And as I claim myself, I release guilt.
You only have to let the soft animal of
love what it loves.
Yes. Motherhood has taught me that.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will
tell you mine.
This is why we write. And why we read. And how we love.
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
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh
and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Doesn’t she just leave you breathless and peaceful?