I would like to share this poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Mary Oliver. I read an interview with her a while back in Oprah magazine and was touched by Mary’s authenticity and gentle approach to life. She’s always taken her time. She lives in a forest. She fell in love with her agent Molly and they lived together for 40 years until Molly’s death in 2005. Her poem The Journey is my favourite. My ginger thoughts, this morning, below…

Photo by Michela Heim

 

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

I read it this morning and felt I could breath again. I’m not sure if it registers the same way with you as it does for me. Good poetry, though, I think speaks to an ancient, intuitive side that can’t be explained or fully communicated with words (ironically). Like smells. It simply grips – the heart or the gut or the little, scared speck of yourself that’s in there somewhere. Immediately.

For me, though, the feeling that gripped my little speck solidified a very big decision I’ve just made.

I’m striding deeper and I don’t care for the shouting voices. My favourite line, that one that garners a spike of strength in my being is:

“It was already late enough”…

You?